By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Free labor and equipment services donated by a small army of volunteer workers across the High Desert topped the $65,000 mark, San Bernardino County officials said.
Some 750 volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fanned out across the Victor Valley on Saturday, April 26 as part of the statewide High Desert Helping Hands Day of Community Service. Using the county’s own wage rates, the value of the volunteer labor is worth $65,000, said 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood. The donated use of a power trencher, chain saws, trucks, trailers and other equipment pushed the total value even higher.
“This marks the sixth year for the Helping Hands event. I thank everyone involved in this impressive display of faith and community service,” said Lovingood, who visited with volunteers at the county’s Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville.
About 230 volunteers at Mojave Narrows cleared brush, cut and removed dead trees, built fencing and laid power and water lines for six new camp sites, which will increase the revenue here at the park, said Ken Anderson, project coordinator.
“We’re out here because we love the community, we’re a part of it; we all live here. And we want to make it a better place,” Anderson said.
In Apple Valley, 170 volunteers worked at seven schools: Apple Valley High School, Yucca Loma Elementary, Mariana Academy, Rio Vista Elementary, Sycamore Rocks Elementary, Vanguard Prep and Phoenix Academy.
“I can’t believe how well these people work,” said Gabe Amarro of Apple Valley.
In Hesperia, 280 volunteers cleaned trails at Silverwood Lake, cleared weeds and fixed soil erosion at Krystal Elementary School. Eric Schmidt of the Hesperia City Council participated in the event.
The opportunity to serve our community of Hesperia and help maintain our recreational and public resources was certainly achieved on this day of community service,” said Tom Knox, of the Hesperia Stake Public Affairs Council.
In Wrightwood, 31 volunteers raked and lined the trail with rocks from the fire station to Lone Pine Canyon Road.
And in Barstow, 42 volunteers partnered with those from the First United Methodist Church, “The Hope Hut” Desert Manna, New Hope Village and others to clean, organize and make minor repairs at the “Hope Hut” thrift store.