Volunteers being sought for Four Corners Day of Service on MLK Day

Cleanup, painting and cooking projects among opportunities being offered

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — With more than a dozen projects planned, organizers of the annual Four Corners Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day next week are searching for volunteers to help them adequately staff each of those work sites in San Juan County.

Liesl Dees, one of the organizers of the Four Corners Day of Service, said approximately 225 volunteers are needed on Monday, Jan. 16 for the 14 projects. As of Jan. 9, 67 folks had registered to take part, so plenty of spots remained open, she said.

Those interested in taking part have a wide range of choices, she said, although one site — putting up decorations for the annual Daddy Daughter Ball at the Sycamore Park Community Center in Farmington — already was full.

Other volunteer opportunities include cleanup projects at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington and Bloomfield, helping with a Vitalant blood drive at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, painting the floor of the garage bay and the back office at the City of Farmington’s park operations building, organizing the storeroom at the Family Crisis Center, cooking a meal for Marge’s Place at the Family Crisis Center, and helping maintain the grounds and engaging in vehicle detailing at Childhaven.

The day will begin with volunteers meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 865 N. Dustin Ave., for breakfast and a short interfaith service honoring King’s vision. Volunteers then will be led to their project sites by a team leader, where each job is expected to take approximately three hours.

Volunteers help put together care bags during the 2018 Four Corners Day of Service. This year's event takes place on Monday, Jan. 16.

Dees said even those who do not register in advance are welcome to show up at the church on the day of the event and offer their services, although signing up ahead of time is encouraged.

“Typically, about half of our (volunteers) have registered before the event,” she said. “And the other half have not registered, which is fine. We just don’t want to be in a position where we’re trying to manage 200 people at once.”

A volunteer cleans out a van at Childhaven as part of the 2022 Four Corners Day of Service.

This is the sixth year the event has been held, although it was conducted only on a limited basis for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dees said.

“We’re excited about having a bigger year again this year,” she said.

While some of the volunteer opportunities are restricted to adults because of the nature of the work, Dees said others offer good chances for young people in Boy Scout troops or Sunday school classes to work together on a worthwhile project.

In fact, Dees said one of the most significant projects that is tackled each year is one in which people are asked to write encouraging notes to displaced children to be placed in Bags of Love, which contain essential items that are distributed to needy kids. Dees said the notes help reassure young people who are facing challenging circumstances that someone cares about them, and she said the notes are especially effective when they come from other children.

“That’s been one of my favorites,” she said.

But every task taken on by the Four Corners Day of Service is worthwhile, she said, explaining that the feedback she has received from volunteers over the years demonstrates the experience is meaningful to them.

“One of the things we hear again and again from participants is a sense of accomplishment for doing the projects in the community and having the time to reflect on Dr. King in the service to begin the day,” she said. “Both of those have been meaningful components over the years.”

Volunteers gather for a short interfaith service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. before the start of the 2020 Four Corners Day of Service in Farmington.

To register for the Four Corners Day of Service, visit Eventbrite.com and choose “Four Corners Day of Service” in the “Search events” field. Volunteers can then decide on a specific project to work on by clicking on the “Reserve a spot” tab.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 ormeasterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.