Blog: MLK Day Spurs Student Volunteers

Moving greenhouse from Covina to Glendora, a Sowing Seeds for Life project, is part of University of La Verne's Martin Luther King Community Service Day.

A large greenhouse, dismantled in Covina, made its way to Glendora Monday as part of the University of La Verne’s Martin Luther King Community Service Day.

Some 200 ULV students, including members of the football and track and field teams, spent the holiday doing community service work rather than sleeping in and hanging out.

Many of the students, and some faculty members as well, wore special T-shirts with this Martin Luther King quote: “Life’s most persistant and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

The students were divided up into groups that worked with six different agencies throughout the East San Gabriel Valley, according ULV Chaplain Zandra Wagoner.

“This is the third year we’ve had a Martin Luther King Community Service Day, and it has grown each year,” Wagoner said. “There were 80 volunteers in 2011 and 110 last year.”

Track Coach Pat Widolff, who has been at ULV 21 years, said this year all 80 members of the track and field teams participated in the community service day. “It’s not mandatory, but we encourage everyone to volunteer,” he said.
The volunteer jobs Monday were varied. One involved moving the greenhouse – no easy feat.

This project was for Sowing Seeds for Life, a regional food bank based in La Verne and founded by Glendora resident Vicki Brown. Thirty students, including 22 from the men’s and women’s track teams, were divided into two groups. One group worked on dismantling the greenhouse in Covina and the other prepared the site in northern Glendora where it will be reassembled at a later date. A crane will be needed to get the unassembled greenhouse to the top of very steep hill behind a home on Oak Knoll Drive.

Sowings Seeds for Life CEO Vicki Brown said it is a hydroponic greenhouse in which vegetables and herb crops are grown without the use of soil.
Sowing Seeds for Life is a fast-growing charitable non-profit organization that feeds some 6,000 needy people per month in the East San Gabriel Valley. Sowing Seeds for Life, or SSFL, provides food, clothes and services to the needy on the first and third Wednesday of every month in the parking lot at DPI Labs at 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne. Vicki Brown is also the CEO of DPI Labs, an aerospace company that manufactures parts and instruments for the inside of private jets.

The greenhouse comes from an anonymous donor who asked that his name not be used.

In its new location, the greenhouse will be used to grow vegetables and produce to be distributed to the needy, although most of the food comes from donations.
The primary crops grown in a hydroponic greenhouse are such produce as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, and strawberries.

This particular hydroponic greenhouse also includes a tilapia fish tank, and tilapia fish are particularly nutritious and healthy for children.


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