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Volunteers being sought for Love Oakdale projects
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A group photo of the volunteers at last year’s Love Oakdale highlights how many people turned out for the citywide day of service. Organizers have set their sights on 700 volunteers this year for the April 27 event. Photo Contributed

It is an event which has quickly become a mainstay for the City of Oakdale and its community of volunteers.

On Saturday, April 27 the community will once again gather for the annual Love Oakdale citywide volunteer day.

The event will start at the Oakdale Skate Park with check in beginning at 8 a.m. and the kick off rally beginning at the Pavilion at 8:40 a.m.

To date the event has 45 projects identified citywide and with a goal set of 700 volunteers, Love Oakdale Director, Lisa Kjeldgaard and Citywide Volunteer Day Event Chair Savannah Sprague, feel both numbers are not just achievable but indicative of what the City of Oakdale stands for.

“It’s so cool because not everybody does it, obviously on the exact same day,” Sprague said of the event which originated in Modesto and is now international, “but you have so many people coming together supporting their communities all on the same platforms. I just love it and I love that it started, right here.”

Kjeldgaard shared that being a piece of non-profit Love Stanislaus, so much more is possible for the Oakdale based non-profit as a whole.

Now in her fourth year as the Director and third year at the helm of the volunteer day, Kjeldgaard shared the event and its volunteers have grown exponentially since bringing it back in 2021.

“I still head up our year-round efforts because they’re spread out and more sporadic,” she said of bringing Sprague on board this year to lead the city-specific volunteer day.

“I feel like this year has just been a learning process,” Sprague noted. “But next year hopefully it will be much easier to take that much off her plate.”

For this year’s kick-off event Saturday morning, non-profits have been invited to have booths. Breakfast will also be offered to volunteers, compliments of Bloomingcamps Bake Shop, Seed 2Cup, Starbucks and Grocery Outlet.

Participants will also be given raffle tickets at check in for the chance to win one of 10 raffle items. To further increase their chances at one of the 10 raffle prizes, participants are encouraged to donate non-perishable canned goods. For each donation they will be given an additional ticket.

“I love our raffle because it supports small businesses,” Kjeldgaard shared. “We buy all of our raffle prizes as a way to support and show we love our small businesses.”

The director further shared raffle prizes are intentionally not donated as a way to give back and support the businesses for all they do for so many in the community, purchasing them instead of seeking the donations.

“Love Oakdale really exists to love our neighbors, our non-profits, our small businesses, our city, our schools,” she said.

Love Oakdale also prides itself on partnerships. This year in addition to continuing its support of other non-profits, they have increased their partnerships with local churches for the day of the citywide event.

One significant non-profit partnership comes by way of Pacific Project Heroes, which has presented a generous donation to Love Oakdale. The fellow non-profit gifted Love Oakdale a $10,000 grant from their fundraiser.

“Specifically earmarked for us to serve veterans,” Kjeldgaard said. “So we’ve had a really big push to try and identify veterans in our community that we can serve in a bigger way.”

The funding they’ve received for veterans is now giving them the freedom to help well deserving community members with much needed projects.

“Now we have the funds to send in a roofer to actually get it fixed,” Kjeldgaard said of someone whose roof was in need of repair. “So huge shout out to Pacific Project Heroes for giving us the freedom to serve veterans in a bigger way than we’ve ever been able to do before.”

As Sprague continues to step into the lead role of the citywide volunteer day, she shared the fit just felt right for her initial start as a volunteer three years ago.

“I can’t say no to Lisa,” she chuckled. “Really, I love my community and it just fit. It’s a good fit for that. It’s something I can pour into that’s not year-round.”

While Kjeldgaard continues to be grateful for the committee, the community support and the countless volunteers, one thing she did point out as extra helpful is participants signing up in advance.

“It’s a huge help to us if people sign up ahead of time, just so we know how many to expect and what projects we might be light on,” she said.

“We’re excited for what this holds. It grows every year,” Kjeldgaard continued of the April 27 event.

“I love our community and I think that it’s exciting to see so many people working throughout the city on the same day,” Sprague added.

Community members interested in registering for a project may do so at They may also nominate veteran projects, as well as register to be a sponsor of the event on the website. Individuals with leads on veterans who may have a need may also call or text Kjeldgaard at 209-607-9881.