MLK Day events to benefit Good Cheer

South Whidbey volunteers are gearing up for a day of service next week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The local theme on Monday, Jan. 18 will be “Sustaining the Beloved Community,” organized by the South Whidbey School District, South Whidbey Commons in Langley, local AmeriCorps representatives and the Good Cheer Food Bank.

“Activities will focus on gardens that bring together youths and adults to grow food and learn about local sustainability,” said Victoria Santos, one of the organizers.

“This benefits our communities by producing food which is donated to Good Cheer,” she said.

Activities on Monday include a work party at the Good Cheer garden in front of the food bank near Bayview Corner.

The work party will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers, including the Inca Pride Alpaca 4-H Club, will install chicken wire around the bottom of the garden fence.

They’ll also clear and begin to terrace a hillside, clean up the compost area and make compost with alpaca manure, and sort seeds donated by Ed Hume Seeds.

Work on the Good Cheer garden began a year ago with volunteers responding to President Obama’s call for a national day of service to honor King.

Throughout the past year, the garden produced more than 5,500 pounds of fruits and vegetables for the food bank, said garden manager Cary Peterson.

“It’s time to get ready for the coming season,” Peterson said.

Also scheduled Monday is a work party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Langley Middle School community garden behind the school on Camano Avenue.

Volunteers will help to install an irrigation system at the garden, which donates its produce to Good Cheer.

A work party also will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bayview School at Bayview Corner. A three-bin compost system with pallets will be constructed.

Organizers of the day’s events also would like to collect one ton of food and books to benefit the food bank. Donated items can be dropped off at Island Coffeehouse & Books, 124 Second St. in Langley, Santos said.

The day’s events will conclude with a Martin Luther King Day tea and coffee gathering from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Island Coffeehouse & Books.

For information, or to volunteer for the day’s events, call Peter Blaustein at 321-4012.

For information about the Good Cheer garden, visit

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