Coming at a time when it is sorely needed, Love Oakdale is on the calendar for Saturday, April 24.
Organizer Lisa Kjeldgaard said she couldn’t be happier that the community will benefit from this upcoming work day.
“We want to get things going,” she said. “We will meet at 8 a.m. at the skate park/theater where we will have our rally, just like we have done before.”
Volunteers are still being sought for a variety of projects that will be taken on during the day. Those interested can go to the website, loveoakdale.com, for additional information and to sign up as a volunteer. Sponsors are also being sought.
“We are so thankful for the support of city officials who believe Love Oakdale is just the kind of event our city needs right now,” organizers note on the website.
Among the options for volunteering are City Park Clean Up, including horseshoe pit work at Kerr Park, working on the river access trail, doing spring clean-up at Gilbert Park and more.
Gardening will be done at multiple locations, from the Oakdale Rescue Mission to several sites at River Paradise, along with the Officer Paul Katuszonek Memorial Garden. There are also ‘light handyman work’ projects at several locations, and some specific groups that will handle tasks, such as the Girl Scouts working at the Oakdale Community Garden and Redeemer Oakdale Church taking on the Dorada Park clean-up. They are looking for some volunteers with concrete skills for work planned at a school site and Kjeldgaard said there are many new and exciting projects they are happy to take on.
All projects are anticipated to wrap up by noon.
“New this year, we are giving out some awards for people that really stepped up during the pandemic,” Kjeldgaard added of highlighting local residents. “On our website, there is a spot to nominate people and we have 15 nominations so far.”
Kjeldgaard also said that, though in the past they have gone to local businesses to solicit donations as giveaway items, they didn’t want to ask this year because so many businesses are still reeling from the pandemic.
Instead, she said, a “generous donor” stepped up and they were able to purchase items from many local businesses for the giveaway, making that a win-win for all.
“This is the first thing, community wide, that Oakdale is allowing, and we get to serve our community,” Kjeldgaard said of emerging from underneath the weight of the pandemic. “We want to let people know we survived, we’re back and the first thing we are going to do is love on our people.”