Volunteers encouraged to register for Four Corners Day of Service on MLK Day

Emphasis on smaller, outdoor projects part of effort to keep workers safe

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
  • The event will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17 in the parking lot at the First Presbyterian Church in Farmington.
  • Coffee and donuts will be available, and a short service will be streamed via YouTube.
  • Volunteers will be dispersed to work on projects throughout the city.

FARMINGTON — Organizers are seeking 100 to 150 volunteers for the fifth annual Four Corners Day of Service to be held Monday, Jan. 17, at locations throughout the Farmington area in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The event, which has been held in Farmington every year since 2018, was scaled back last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and modifications to its structure continue this year. But Liesl Dees said she and other organizers have made arrangements for the day of service to unfold in a manner that is likely to keep participants safe and socially distanced by focusing on small, outdoor projects.

Volunteers are being asked to sign up for one of several service projects, including creating tray favors for patients at San Juan Regional Medical Center and cards for their caregivers, and taking part in cleanup projects at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park and the Sycamore Park Community Center, cleaning projects at People Assisting the Homeless transitional housing units, and yard work and donation organization projects at Childhaven.

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Volunteer Wendy Bircher helps fill bags for displaced children during the Four Corners Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019. The event returns for its fifth year on Jan. 17 with some minor changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There also will be a Vitalant blood drive at the First Presbyterian Church and the opportunity to make donations to several local food pantries, including the ECHO Food Bank, the Aztec Methodist Church, the First Presbyterian Church, the Frontline Mission, Oasis Ministries and Shiprock Bethel Christian Reform Church.

The day will begin with participants meeting at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at the First Presbyterian Church, 865 Dustin Ave. in Farmington, for coffee and donuts provided by Dunkin', Johnny O's Spudnuts, Safeway and Durango Joes Coffee. Dees said a short service will be streamed on YouTube for participants to watch from their vehicles before everyone is dispersed to their work site. The projects are designed to take three hours.

Anyone interested in volunteering can find details about the Day of Service by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-four-corners-annual-martin-luther-king-jr-mlk-day-of-service-tickets-228084626257. They can sign up to work on specific projects by clicking on the registration link.

Volunteers will be given a Day of Service ribbon to wear signifying their participation in the event. They will be asked to wear a mask at all indoor gatherings.

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Michele Picotte, at microphone, of the Farmington Bahai community leads children in singing a Bahai prayer before the Four Corners Day of Service in 2020. Some aspects of the event have been changed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dees said organizers would like to attract 100 to 150 volunteers, and 17 of them already had signed up by Jan. 10. She said the Day of Service had drawn up to 250 volunteers in the past, but she said she understands that the continued presence of the COVID-19 virus will make it unlikely the event reaches that number this year.

Any organization that has a project that needs to be done is welcome to reach out to organizers through the Eventbrite link. Dees said smaller projects that can be accomplished by two or three volunteers likely still can be accommodated at this point, but those requiring larger numbers of workers probably can't be added to the list.

Dees noted that the local Day of Service is part of a national effort to honor King's legacy with an event that benefits communities all over the country. She said it also helps bring people together.

Volunteers Isabelle Montoya, left, Laura Marshall and Pam Brandebourg prepare to head out to their project site before the Four Corners Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019.

"The two things that people in the past have repeatedly said are meaningful to them about this day are doing the service and connecting with other people in the community," she said.

Dees said the Day of Service also gives participants the chance to reflect on King's words and his dream of building a more equitable society.

"That begins with serving others," she said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.