What a humbling experience it was to take part in Operation: Oliver‘s day of service in Baltimore City!
A crowd of over 200 volunteers gathered around 10 a.m. in the Oliver neighborhood. Dave Landymore and Earl Johnson opened up with inspirational speeches of community support, fighting against poverty, and making moves for change in our city. It was a great way to tie in Martin Luther King Jr. and the feats he accomplished for our nation.
Jeremy Wilkins teamed up with Team Rubicon, photographing the volunteers throughout the day as we spread out over East Baltimore. Volunteers were divided into teams of ten and handed shovels, rakes, and bags to clean up trash, fallen debris, and anything else that didn’t belong on the streets or in backyards.
From my experience, this day was both an encouragement as well as a wake-up call to the poverty that still exists in Baltimore. While cleaning up the backyards of some row houses a resident popped her head out the back door to ask what we were doing. I wasn’t shocked about her question as much as I was that someone actually lived in this home. Next door, attached to this lady’s unit, were townhouses boarded up, caving in, and abandoned.
The day was still encouraging though, seeing complete strangers come together for the same amazing cause. Several nonprofits and local organizations were present to assist the efforts including Team Rubicon, Back on My Feet, and The 6th Branch, who put together this event.
Here are some reflections people left on their Facebook page after the event:
Here are more photos from Jeremy Wilkins photography, but feel free to check out the full album at WilkinsPhotos.com: