By Johnny Ng
Instead of taking a day off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 80 Kaiser Permanente doctors, nurses and staff with their families took a “day on” of volunteering as part of the annual Kaiser Permanente Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 21.
This year, two groups of Kaiser Permanente volunteers from southern Alameda County spent their day at Park Elementary and Lorin Eden Elementary schools in Hayward. The Kaiser Permanente Day of Service was achieved in partnership with HandsOn Bay Area, an organization that creates opportunities for people to volunteer, learn and lead in their communities.
At Park Elementary, a small army of volunteers fanned out to wipe down and paint a long school hallway that connects all of the classrooms. They also cleaned and disinfected classroom desks and cafeteria tables. Park Elementary is one of Kaiser Permanente’s partner schools for the Healthy School Initiative which Kaiser Permanente is launching later this year.
At Lorin Eden Elementary volunteers armed with gardening tools planted a lavender garden, trimmed bushes and tree branches, and cleaned up a community garden. In the parking lot at the front of the school, another set of volunteers pulled weeds and repainted the red, “No Parking” curbs. They also cleaned and disinfected classroom desks.
In 2005, to honor and recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his advancement of civil and human rights, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service that takes place on Martin Luther King Day. This approach to celebrating Dr. King’s life has enabled thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians in Northern California to provide valuable services to our communities to honor the legacy of Dr. King.
In the past eight years, over 600 Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and staff from southern Alameda County have volunteered in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. This year, more than 9,000 Kaiser Permanente volunteers in Northern California, donated their time and skills across 100 projects.