Lisa Battle-Jackson, president of the Citizen’s of Georgia Power volunteer group, sorts food stuffs at Albany’s Salvation Army as part of Georgia Power’s MLK Day of Service. (Staff Photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Volunteers from Georgia Power joined volunteers from numerous local companies and organizations Monday using the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to do some good in Albany, giving their time and effort to help local nonprofit organizations.
This year the group sent volunteers to Albany’s Flint RiverQuarium and Salvation Army as a way of giving back.
“MLK was adopted as a day of service company wide,” said Citizens of Georgia Power President Lisa Battle-Jackson. “It’s a great way for the company to give back to the community. The day of service makes it easier for the organization to serve its citizens.”
Battle-Jackson said the group looks for organizations to help throughout the year and tries to help as many groups as it can on the service day.
“We have helped at the RiverQuarium before, but this is our first year helping the Salvation Army,” Battle-Jackson said. “Hopefully we can back throughout the year and help.”
The organization sent of a dozen volunteers to the Salvation Army to help clean up and sort items in the warehouse, something Salvation Army bookkeeper Judy Russell said was a significant help to the organization.
“I’m very glad they volunteered,” Russell said. “We use those items for the food pantry and the kitchen. It’s a big help for us.”
Richard Brown, general curator at Flint RiverQuarium, echoed that sentiment, saying that the organization, which is currently short-staffed and having to rely on many volunteers, looks forward to the Georgia Power group coming each year to help tackle larger clean up and landscaping jobs around the facility.
“We really appreciate the help,” said Brown. “In fact, we really look forward to it. It’s tough to get stuff done throughout the year. We’re kind of short-staffed right now so any help we can get is great.”
This year volunteers at the facility spent their time cleaning out sand and debris from the tortoise habitat as well as laying pine straw and doing some landscape work in the aviary.
We try to save the bigger jobs for when we have larger volunteer groups,” Brown said. “Having them here today has helped tremendously.”
Despite being hard at work during the MLK holiday, Battle said the group is already looking ahead to next year as well as looking for ways employees can continue to help the community throughout the year.
“We are off on Good Friday,” said Battle-Jackson. “We also have Saturdays. We know for sure though that we’ll volunteering again next MLK holiday.”
This year, in addition to the two groups in Albany, the group also served at The Haven Battered Women’s Shelter in Valdosta and in Tifton Area schools.
A communitywide MLK Day program was conducted Monday evening at Albany Civic Center.