|Updated: 7/08/2009 8:51 am
||Published: 7/07/2009 3:52 pm
The Martin Luther King Jr. Commission is teaming up with hundreds of volunteers to revitalize the city of Pine Bluff. The movement is called Operation Appreciation. Organizers hope revitalizing MLK Park will reduce crime by keeping kids off the streets.
"It feels great! We are helping others and not ourselves," said Brittany Stevenson of Little Rock. She jumped at the chance to work in Operation Appreciation.
Brittany's not alone; hundreds of teens and community members from all over Arkansas came to help out. They came to roll up their sleeves, do some hard work and help a city in need.
Their first mission was to clean up MLK Park. Executive Director of the King Commission, DeShun Scarbrough, says this is not just a week of clean up, it's a massive effort to honor Dr. King by doing for others. "It's a movement," said Scarbrough. "It's creating a movement in Pine Bluff."
State Representative David Rainey of Pine Bluff says doing this honors Dr. King while giving young people something to do other than aside from committing crime. "We care about them. We value them," he said. "This sends a powerful l message to them: we are not going to accept anything, we want the best for them."
"We're looking at a lot of kids that could be doing other things, like playing Nintendo, but they are here assisting us and cleaning up the community. That's huge," said Scarbrough.
Coca Cola and Tyson also joined in on the movement, providing all the food and drinks and feeding dozens of volunteers.