TORRANCE, Calif., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This Saturday, April 28, Sharefest Community Development will rally thousands of volunteers for its 9th Annual Sharefest Workday. In the course of just one day, 5,000 volunteers will complete 350 projects at 55 locations in the South Bay and Harbor areas. These community improvements are estimated to be worth close to $1 million, but come at no cost to the recipients.
"With more than 60 sponsors and partners, and 5,000 volunteers, this year's Workday has more than surpassed my expectations," said Chad Mayer, co-founder and executive director of Sharefest Community Development. "Each year I am again reminded of how much our community can accomplish by banding together. Not only will these much needed improvement projects beautify our schools and cities, but also create a lasting positive change."
The success of Sharefest's Workday lies in the collaboration between local organizations, the faith community and businesses to pool resources and gather volunteers in order to complete tangible service projects at a fraction of what they would cost. By taking advantage of community resources already in place, the Workday creates an immediate impact but also creates a cohesive community which lasts longer than one day.
The 55 sites that will receive improvements on Saturday, April 28 include:
Redondo Beach Fire Department
John Pitzer, PCC, Inc. and a core team of skilled contractors have found a way to give back to the unselfish men and women who risk their lives every day to save others. On April 28, the volunteers will complete improvements at the Redondo Beach Fire Department's Station #1 (401 S. Broadway) including a new kitchen. Built in 1959, the original kitchen is now damaged due to over use.
"As a rule, the firefighters I work with are willing to give their all and ask for nothing - it goes against their grain to do so," said Steve Hyink, Fire Division Chief of Operations. "As a Chief Officer it is frustrating because it seems like every time we try to find a few extra bucks to help out the firefighters and give them some simple upgrades, something always comes up that is more essential. We don't like to ask for help, but it would be greatly appreciated if we could just get some cabinets and a new counter."
However, Sharefest's plan reached far beyond simply replacing the cabinets and the countertop. The new firehouse improvements include: a flooring upgrade, plumbing fixtures, dishwasher, refrigerators, washer and dryer, carpeting and flooring in the dorms and common areas, and an upgrade to the conference room as well. Because of the generous support of donors, corporations, skilled laborers and dedicated volunteers, what would typically be a nine month project, will be done in just twelve days. Normally a project this size would be in upwards of $250,000, however, it will be completed for just under $55,000 – at no cost to the city.
Nineteen Local Schools
Nineteen schools in the Torrance, Wiseburn and Redondo Beach school districts will receive a multitude of much needed improvements, thanks to more than 400 Balfour Beatty Construction employees, contractors, vendors, family members and volunteers from recipient school sites. Projects that will be completed on April 28th include: building outdoor and mobile technology classrooms, re-slurrying parking areas, building sheds, benches, garden beds and planter boxes; painting murals, performing irrigation work; and providing general painting and clean-up services.
"Working with Sharefest helps us to find and organize projects that will have the biggest and most direct impact on local students," said Tom Schlegel, Balfour Beatty Construction's Sr. Program Manager and Sharefest Project Coordinator. "For example, we estimate that this year's Sharefest Workday projects will provide more than $200,000 in improvements at absolutely no cost to the schools."
Schools scheduled for improvements include: Adams Middle School, Alta Vista Elementary, Beryl Heights, Da Vinci Design High School, Da Vinci Science Charter School, Hickory Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Madison Elementary, Parras Middle School, Redondo Shores Continuation High School, Redondo Union High School, RBUSD Building, Richardson Middle School, SELPA, Tulita Elementary, Walteria Elementary, and Washington Elementary.
Carson High School
Watson Land Company employees will join hundreds of students, family and friends to provide numerous improvements at Carson High School. The more than 20 individual projects include beautification and improvements to the computer lab, baseball field, school entrance, administration area, parking lot, landscaping, flagpole area, quad, hallways, and garden, as well as a new outdoor kitchen. Multiple murals will also be painted throughout the campus. One of Watson Land Company's most anticipated projects is the outdoor kitchen, which will accompany the existing educational garden.
"Watson Land Company is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2012 with a series of events focusing on giving back to the communities we serve," said Watson Land Company President and CEO Bruce Choate. "With a theme of 'A Century of Stewardship' the company and its employees are partnering with community based non-profits to make a meaningful and lasting positive impact. Watson Land Company, along with a number of our customers and vendors, is pleased to partner with Sharefest and Carson High School by sponsoring the 9th Annual Community Workday. We look forward to combining our efforts to help foster an environment for students to grow both personally and academically."
San Pedro High School
Kaiser Permanente employees and fellow volunteers will celebrate the 9th Annual Sharefest Workday by completing a living, edible garden on an unused part of the San Pedro High School campus. Designed by Karen Collins from Living Color Landscapes, and built by Cornerstone Construction Group and many volunteers, the new garden will be a living quilt of organic plants suitable for the local climate. In addition to providing fresh produce for San Pedro High School students, the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden will be donated to those with limited access to healthy organic produce through a partnership with local food banks and meal programs.
Sharefest's Progress to Date: 9 Workdays, 1,330 projects, 35,000 volunteers mobilized, and $6.5 million worth of projects.
For more info, please visit www.sharefestinc.org or call (310) 626-8106.
About Sharefest Community Development's 9th Annual Workday:
Sharefest Community Development's 9th Annual Workday will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The event mobilizes thousands of volunteers throughout Los Angeles County to complete tangible work projects that will change the quality of life for its residents. The Sharefest Workday has a history of coming alongside communities to create an atmosphere of hope and tangible change for the future. The Sharefest Workday has been on a trajectory over the last nine years of helping more and more schools and neighborhoods while gathering an increasing number of volunteers from Los Angeles County to create a lasting imprint of positive change to local communities. Since its inception, the organization has mobilized over 35,000 volunteers to complete more than $6,500,000 worth of projects for Los Angeles County cities and schools. www.sharefestinc.org
SOURCE Sharefest Community Development