• April 6, 2020

Groups take part in Martin Luther King Jr. Day’s Day of Service in O.C. - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Groups take part in Martin Luther King Jr. Day’s Day of Service in O.C.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 11:13 am

OCEAN CITY – Karen Paarz continued a decades-long family tradition on Monday, Jan. 20, when she brought her 6-year-old granddaughter to participate in an annual Day of Service held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

About 25 years earlier, Paarz brought her daughter to Philadelphia for the Day of Service and she is continuing the effort with her granddaughter, Lindsay Michaels. 

“It teaches us that we are members of something bigger than ourselves,” Paarz said. 

Paarz and her granddaughter participated in Ocean City’s annual Day of Service city cleanup. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was designated as a day of service in 1994, according to the Congregation for National & Community Service. 

An estimated hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states participate each year.  

Charlotte Moyer, the Ocean City Clean Communities Coordinator, reported a good turnout for this year’s Day of Service, including many young volunteers. 

She said it is “amazing that they take the time” on a day off to volunteer. 

Olivia Hang, the secretary of Ocean City High School’s Student Environmental Association, was part of one group of young volunteers who participated in the cleanup. 

This was the second cleanup the association participated in this year.  In addition to cleanups, the association holds a recycled art contest, and includes environmental facts in the school’s announcements.  

About nine members of the club participated on Jan. 20, and some people brought additional friends and family members. 

Hang said they started at 9 a.m. and cleaned from 34th to 18th streets along the Ocean City Bike Path, and picked up trash at the tennis courts at the Ocean City Intermediate School. 

“One person really does make a difference,” Hang said, when asked why they wanted to volunteer, “and I know for our club with the Student Environmental Association, it really shows how many people at our high school really care about the environment and the world we live in today.”

Sally Barbieri, a direct support person for Heritage Homestead, was part of a group of 11 people from Heritage Homestead in Beesleys Point participating in the Day of Service. 

Heritage Homestead provides services to developmentally disabled persons.

“We’d like to see the city cleaner. We love Ocean City,” she said.

Their groups come to Ocean City often, according to Barbieri, including to the beach, the community pool, the library, and, throughout the year, the boardwalk. 

“It’s like our second home,” she said. 

This was their first time doing the cleanup.  They planned to clean the Ocean City Intermediate School grounds.  

Barbieri said she hoped they “like to do something kind for others because they get a lot of kindness shown to them in the community.”

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