More than 300 volunteers will participate Saturday in the city of Largo's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Good Deeds.
They'll spend the day visiting shut-ins, mowing lawns and house painting. They'll even run an errand or clean up a dirty house if someone needs it, according to event organizers.
This is the seventh year the city has held a Day of Good Deeds, although in the past, it's been scheduled later, usually in early spring.
"But the city wants it to coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday," said Warren Ankerberg, director of the Largo Community Center and one of the event coordinators. "What better way to honor King than to dedicate this day to service?''
Since the program is in January, many retirement facilities and neighborhood groups who usually inquire about receiving volunteer workers on the Day of Good Deeds still have not placed requests for help.
"People should call us soon and get those deeds in. We've got the volunteers, and we are ready to serve,'' said Ankerberg, who has been involved with the program since its inception.
Over the years, the Day of Good Deeds has given Ankerberg many memories, but one strong memory involves fire.
"There was a lady we visited who was shut-in," he said. "Our volunteers discovered she was unstable, and she kept setting her home on fire. We alerted the police, and they got her the help she needed.''
The criteria for receiving a good deed is simple.
"It must be a person who is needy,'' Ankerberg said. "They can be for the infirm due to age or ill health as well as those who are blind or have other challenges. But the deed must be able to be completed within a couple of hours.''
The event, which will be based at Ulmer Park, includes a volunteer fair, a barbecue, a stage show and a raffle. Mayor Pat Gerard and other city officials will be on hand for opening ceremonies. It kicks off at 10 a.m.