October 2, 2004: Headlines: Service: Atlanta Journal Constitution: Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Service: October 2, 2004: Headlines: Service: Atlanta Journal Constitution: Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-9-111.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.9.111) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 1:12 am: Edit Post

Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center

Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center

Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center

Just doing 'whatever'
16,000 tackle volunteer jobs across Atlanta

By DON PLUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/02/04

For many who volunteered Saturday to work during the 14th annual Hands On Atlanta Day, it was a day of surprises.

Former Peace Corps volunteer Ann Marie Hoffman didn't know she would spend her morning dragging tarps filled with crushed rocks to create a walkway around the soccer field at Clarkston Community Center.

"You don't find out what you're going to do until you get there," Hoffman said, pausing to wipe sweat from her face. "But that's OK, I just want to do whatever is needed."

That sentiment was echoed by several of the 50 people working at the community center.

This year, 16,000 volunteers registered to work as part of the nonprofit Hands On Atlanta's effort at nearly 200 sites around metro Atlanta, creating what organizers billed as "the nation's largest citywide day of service."

In Atlanta's West End, volunteer Michael Anderson also found that he was in for a surprise when he arrived at KIPP WAYS Academy, a 2-year-old charter school.

"I thought I'd never see a cubbie again after I left elementary school," the technology consultant said as he cleaned up after building 17 of the six-part storage cubicles.

Volunteer coordinator Amanda Pauley, who works for the day's prime sponsor technology consulting firm Accenture said some of the 400 people who came to the city of Atlanta charter school landscaped, installed donated computers or refinished classrooms. Others set up swing sets or painted 50 motivational murals for the playground fence.

"The idea is to surround our school with ideas that are important to the success of our kids," said KIPP WAYS Principal David Jernigan.

The volunteer blitz benefited Atlanta's centerpiece, Piedmont Park, where Mayor Shirley Franklin helped by planting a tree, and lesser-known open spaces, such as Beecher Park.

Southwest Atlanta's Beecher Park, gateway to a 200-acre tract the city and state purchased with $3 million of public and private funds, is perhaps most notorious as an informal trash dump, said Hands On Atlanta staffer Elizabeth Feichter.

After they hauled away trash and shoveled stubborn kudzu and English ivy vines, Feichter said about 1,000 volunteers from GE Energy installed benches and tables and scattered wood chips around the playground.. Finally, they planted native species of shrubbery and trees.

With little money allocated for maintenance of green space lands, volunteer effort and donated materials are essential, GE Energy's Suzanne West said.

"A considerable amount of money has been earmarked for acquisition, but almost none for maintenance to keep the forest healthy," said West.

After spending the morning sweating for good causes, Hands On Atlanta volunteers were invited to a party in the Meadow at Piedmont Park where they were treated to free food, beverages and entertainment.

Over the next 364 days, Hands On Atlanta will be connecting potential volunteers with needed projects one at a time, special events manager Lisa Rapp said.

"People wanting to volunteer during the rest of the year can go to our Web site, www.handsonatlanta.org, or call us at 404-979-2800," Rapp said.





When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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Story Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Service

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