Many groups plan ways to help on the holiday

Staff writerJanuary 19, 2014 

Thurston County residents are invited to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday.

Ruth Elder of the Thurston Diversity Council said that in the past 10 years or so, community service has become the local tradition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Although volunteers of all ages participate in service projects, groups such as the United Way and AmeriCorps excel at engaging youth and getting them involved, she said.

“We have a real spirit of service with Generation Y (children of baby boomers) and a good turnout from young people,” Elder said of MLK Day volunteer activities. “It’s very positive.”

Check out the following volunteer community service opportunities this weekend, when people are encouraged to take a day on, rather than a day off, during this national holiday that honors the civil rights icon’s legacy.

 • On Sunday, the South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship will lead its annual silent meditative walk around Capitol Lake. The walk begins at noon Sunday at Marathon Park, located off Deschutes Parkway. Participants should arrive by 11:45 a.m.

 • Olympia Kiwanis will host three projects from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday. Volunteers at the Food Bank Garden and the Community Firewood projects at 3839 11th Ave. NW will split firewood and kindling and harvest and clean up the garden. Volunteers at the Food Bank Garden on the east Capitol Campus, at the corner of Maple Park Avenue Southeast and Capitol Way, will work on garden cleanup, fertilizer spreading and rototilling. Tools will be provided. To learn more, email

 • The Stream Team will host a volunteer tree planting event from 10 a.m.-noon Monday at Woodland Creek Community Park, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. Gloves, tools, snacks and refreshments will be provided. To learn more or register, go to

 • AmeriCorps will lead a tree planting at Nisqually Land Trust property from 9 a.m.-noon, then again from 1-4 p.m. Monday in Yelm along the Nisqually River. Tools and snacks will be provided. To RSVP and get directions, contact Cris Peck at 360-489-3400 or volunteer@nisqually

 • Prevention Policy Day invites teens and adults to rally at the State Capitol and tell lawmakers what is important to young people. Youth groups that work on health and safety issues are also invited. The event runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday with a kickoff at the Senate Rules Room, 220A Legislative Building, where the midday rally location will be announced. To register, go to

 • The South Sound Reading Foundation needs help reorganizing its book barn and processing incoming materials from a recent book drive. The event runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday at 1105 Tracy St. SE, Lacey. Volunteers will help put stickers on children’s books, sort them according to reading level, then shelve them for the next users.

 • Capitol Land Trust will hold a Twin Rivers Ranch work party 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Monday to continue restoration efforts on Oakland Bay. Volunteers are restoring the tidal Sitka spruce forests and wetland habitat. A few seats are available to carpool from downtown Olympia. To learn more, call 360-970-5324 or 503-550-6169.

 • Books to Prisoners donates books to incarcerated people nationwide. The group invites volunteers to spend an evening reading letters, picking out books, wrapping packages and organizing the library from 5-8 p.m. Monday. Location is at Sixth Avenue Southwest and Thomas Street Southwest in Olympia. Call 360-352-5460 for more information.

 • Housework Angels for Seniors will assist low-income seniors with spring cleaning chores and more from 9 a.m.- noon Monday at the Boardwalk Apartments, 410 and 510 Capitol Way N., Olympia. Volunteers are needed at several apartments. The Volunteer Chore Services program also helps the disabled. Call 360-586-2960 for details.

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