Kaiser Permanente volunteers help beautify Unity Park on MLK Day

Kaiser Permanente volunteers help beautify Unity Park on MLK Day
Photos courtesy of Kaiser Permanente.

By Antonia Ehlers

It was a beautiful day at Unity Park on Monday, when Kaiser Permanente partnered with Urban Tilth for the annual MLK Jr. National Day of Service. Dr. King’s legacy as a civil rights icon who led the nation in a nonviolent struggle for peace united Richmond residents of all generations.

“Our employee and physician volunteer programs are an important part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve,” said Kaiser Permanente East Bay Senior VP and Area Manager Ed Chan, FACHE. “By working together with Urban Tilth, we are honoring Dr. King’s legacy to serve others in need in our community.”

This year, to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the Kaiser Permanente Northern California region is offering multiple employee volunteer opportunities in different locations, such as school playground refurbishments and park beautification projects.

At Unity Park, 150 Kaiser Permanente physicians, employees and their families volunteered to help beautify the area. They tended to the garden – pulling weeds, planting seedlings and spreading mulch. The volunteers also enjoyed music and dance performances, including African drums and Native American Dance. A special ceremony was held for people to pay their respects to Dr. King. Soup was served to warm their spirits.

“Volunteerism is good for the community, and studies show it also improves physical and mental health,” said Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center Physician in Chief John Morehouse, MD. “This was such a wonderful day of camaraderie and community spirit as we honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to serve others.”

“Guided by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the community united to beautify gardens and plant seeds of hope to flourish with generations to follow,” said Kaiser Permanente Richmond COO and Chief Nurse Executive Nicole M. Barnett, RN. “Attending events like these enables us to live the mission of our organization, which began right here in the Richmond community.”

This report was submitted for publication by Kaiser Permanente of Northern California.