Hanover Park celebrating King's legacy with day of community service
For many, the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on his national holiday in January. By July, most have moved on to Independence Day festivities and other activities in between.
That isn't the case this weekend in Hanover Park.
Through a partnership between DuPage Habitat for Humanity and Hanover Park's Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Committee, King's legacy will be honored Saturday when volunteers gather in the village's Tanglewood neighborhood for a day of community service.
"We thought, we don't have to refrain or limit actively engaging in his legacy when we can do it anytime," Village Clerk Eira Corral Sepúlveda said.
MLK Build Up Day will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, when about two dozen volunteers are expected to meet at the Greenbrook Tanglewood Homeowners Association and fan out to plant, lay mulch, clean up neighborhood garbage and help with a signage project.
Hanover Park began dedicating a day of service to King in 2014, The village of partnered with DuPage Habitat for Humanity in 2015. A year later, the organization began a neighborhood revitalization project in Tanglewood.
The revitalization program recently won an Urban Land Institute Award as a visionary program. Cleanup, education, jobs and economic development, and affordable housing are focus areas to improve the neighborhood.
"Working with Habitat for Humanity has helped us to accomplish this to a greater degree than we have in the past," Hanover Park Trustee Sharmin Shahjahan said. "They have the resources which allow us to reach further."
The signage project was commissioned this year to increase safety in the neighborhood.
Tanglewood homes are arranged with the backs of garages facing the streets. Addresses and other signs typically are placed on the front of the homes, making the properties hard to identify for visitors and first responders.
"The numbers we'll be putting up on those garages will help with emergency situations," DuPage Habitat for Humanity's Jill Sobie said. "The pizza delivery guy is going to make the same mistake. It's going to help make it more clear where the houses are."
MLK Build Up Day will end with a barbecue for volunteers and Tanglewood residents.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are we doing to help," Sepúlveda said. "It's a small event making things happen for the community at large."