Volunteers honor Martin Luther King Jr. with day of service in Kirkland | Slideshow

At least 50 volunteers chose to spend their Martin Luther King Jr. Day giving back to the Kirkland community.

More than 20 volunteers with Keeney's Office Supply gathered at the new Friends of Youth building located on Northeast 132nd Street to help organize its donation storage room.

Lisa Keeney-McCarthy, president of Keeney's Office Supply, said this was the first time United Way had dedicated a day of service within the company. Friends of Youth was chosen because much of the company’s business comes from the Eastside, despite its location in Seattle.

“Many people in our community continue to struggle even though we are seeing signs of economic recovery,” said Jared Erlandson, public relations manager for United Way, which organized the volunteer event. “Dr. King encouraged people to come together to help people in need and to strengthen our communities. The work these volunteers will accomplish will make a very real and tangible difference in the lives of thousands.”

Friends of Youth delivers a broad range of services to youth and their families to improve their self-sufficiency.

Volunteers with the Green Kirkland Partnership also took time out of their day to help the environment at Carillon Woods park, located on 106th Avenue Northeast. More than 30 children, teenagers and adults bundled up with gloves, boots and coats to remove invasive species, such as ivy and Himalayan blackberry bush, to make way for Washington’s native plants.

“It’s important because Himalayan blackberry takes over and kills our native plants and wildlife,” said Michaela Lovelady with Americorps.

Lovelady said animals maintain a better diet as volunteers replace the invasive species with the proper plants and vegetation.

To volunteer in Kirkland, visit


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