Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Carmella Playground this past weekend to help revitalize the park. CityYear, a nationwide nonprofit, headed the event. Volunteers worked together, repainting rusted fences, covering graffiti with colorful murals, planting trees and shrubs and picking up litter. Among the supporters was Rep. Tony Payton Jr., who offered inspiring words and a helping hand to the volunteers.
Payton, sporting a 76ers baseball cap, blue jeans and sneakers, shouted out to the volunteers from the small stage, “We’re gonna beautify Carmella for the kids and our city!” CityYear leaders soon dispersed the crowd to the jobs. The representative from the 179th District was right along side them, tossing a football with some of the younger volunteers.
CityYear Greater Philadelphia has over 200 members and has been in the city for 14 years. It deploys 17- to 24-year-olds in schools, who work as tutors and aim to improve the learning environment for students. “CityYear has specific emphasis on students who are at risk for dropping out,” said Rex Carney, CityYear’s department director of external affairs. “We also do events like this because we want to show that our leaders can bring the community together,” he explained.
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