Group calls for day of service

PORTERDALE -- Hands On Newton is inviting the community to lend a helping hand as part of the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day.

Hands On Newton is seeking volunteers to help plant a community garden next to Porterdale City Hall on Monday. Volunteers are needed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to assist with building bedding farms and preparing the new garden layout for spring planting, according to a press release from Hands On Newton.

The garden in Porterdale is a collaboration between Hands on Newton, Newton County Master Gardeners and the Newton County Extension Service to provide access to healthy, fresh, locally grown produce. Plots will be available for the public to rent and maintain for their own use, according to the press release.

Those who volunteer their time will qualify for the Give a Day of Service program sponsored by Disney. In an effort to inspire 1 million people to volunteer a day of service to participating organizations within their communities, Disney is offering volunteers a free, one-day pass to a theme park. Volunteers can register by visiting http://disneyparks.disney.go.com.

In 2009, Hands on Newton established community gardens at the Community Food Pantry and at the Senior Services Center at Turner Lake Complex.

Maintained by volunteers, the gardens have produced more than 250 pounds of produce donated to the Rainbow Covenant Ministries homeless shelter and the Senior Center.

Hands On Newton is a nonprofit organization that fosters volunteer service and civic engagement by helping people of all ages identify projects that match their talents and interests and connects them with community-based organizations. For more information, visit www.newtonpartnership.org and click on Hands on Newton or call 770-330-7405.