A trio of local charities partnered to bring the service message of Martin Luther King Jr. Day home to area residents.
Prince George’s Harlem Remembrance Foundation Inc., based in Lanham, Real Life Resource Center based in Suitland and Friendship Charities Foundation based in Capitol Heights join together to clean three county homes as a service project on Jan. 19.
About 22 area residents were brought together by the charities for the effort, which lasted about four hours. Volunteers worked at homes in Bowie, Hyattsville and Fairmount Heights and did everything from cleaning out trash to vacuuming.
“We straightened up [things and] threw stuff out,” said Rochelle Andrews, treasurer of the Real Life Resource Center. “We were also there to listen to them, which they appreciated.”
The homes that benefited from the free cleanup had been suggested to the charities by the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services, said Carolyn Mills-Matthews of the Prince George’s Harlem Renaissance Foundation, Inc that coordinated the clean-up effort.
Conditions at the homes varied from ones that needed trash and cluttered removed to ones that needed minor household repairs, said William Smith, president of the board of directors for the Friendship Charity Foundation.
“They were livable circumstances,” he said. “It was just that these folks had physical conditions that meant they weren’t able to do a thorough cleaning of their homes on their own.”
All three charities are looking at growing the cleanup effort into an annual event, Mills-Matthew said.
“This is our first year and we hope to grow,” she said. “We didn’t want to get too many and not be able to help everyone.”