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HandsOn Inland Empire Leads Over 300 Volunteers in Kingsley Revitalization Bash

April 17, 2012

Audrey Wang, Niko Rivera, and Christina Nguyen of Cal Poly Pomona's Science Council help build a raised garden bed.

On Saturday, April 14th, HandsOn Inland Empire, the volunteer initiative of Inland Empire United Way (IEUW), led over 300 volunteers on Saturday in revitalizing the oldest elementary school in Pomona! In total, 342 volunteers donated a combined 2,644 hours of time to renovating Kingsley Elementary School in Pomona—painting murals, planting gardens, renovating the school’s cafeteria and front office, and more. The event, which brought together dozens of volunteer groups from throughout the Inland Empire, also served as the official beginning of local activities for National Volunteer Week, a special period of time that centers on inspiring and recognizing the great volunteer work being done across the country.

In many ways, the Kingsley Beautification Event exemplified the spirit of National Volunteer Week. Identified by Pomona Unified School District as its campus most in need of renovation, Kingsley featured a wide array of both aesthetic and practical needs—needs that the local community of volunteers were excited for the chance to meet. All day, volunteers happily completed tasks while sharing their volunteer experiences via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

Nick Iannacone, Janet Bordato, Lynda Will, and Jeremy Tito of UPS paint a mural celebrating "What I Want to be When I Grow Up."

On their end, both Kingsley Elementary School and the Pomona Unified School District were thrilled with the results of the day. “We want to thank [the volunteers] very, very much, not just for what they’ve done in terms of making the school look a certain way, but what they’ve modeled for all of us about the importance of serving our community,” said PUSD Assistant Superintendant Stephanie Baker. “We thank everyone who was involved with this project.”

Inland Empire United Way was equally ecstatic about volunteer turnout and efforts. “Our goal is to ensure local children have the opportunity to succeed academically and reach future self-sufficiency,” said IEUW CEO Gregory Bradbard. “It was thrilling to see hundreds give up their Saturday to help invest in the education of our community’s children.”

To see more more pictures from the event, please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/ieuw/sets/72157629476974732/.

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