YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This Martin Luther King Junior Day was one of service for a number of volunteers in the Valley.
In honor of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and AmeriCorps coordinated a day of service.
“Martin Luther King believed in a fair and equitable society where people could be proud of their neighborhoods,” Jack Daugherty with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation said. “We’re doing what we can to help make that happen.”
About 40 volunteers helped board up 14 abandoned homes on Youngstown’s south side.
More than a dozen YSU students pitched in on a day when they had no classes.
“It feels pretty amazing,” YSU sophomore and YSUscape member Emily Coelho said. “You don’t really realize how much work goes into these things until you’re doing it.”
A big reason that volunteers came out was to help clean up the streets for Taft Elementary school students.”
“We figured the kids walk this way to school and we wanted to make it a little bit safer for them to walk,” AmeriCorps Vista member Anika Jacobs-Green said.
They focused their work on the blocks around Taft Elementary, including East Avondale and Boston Avenues.
Martina Boyd and her husband live on Youngstown’s west side and saw the day of service as an opportunity to help improve the city.
“We love the community. We love the kids,” Boyd said. “They shouldn’t have to deal with it. The community shouldn’t have to deal with it,” Boyd said.
“It’s great to see this many people come out on a cold winter day like this and participate. It makes me proud to be a Youngstowner,” Daugherty said.