Coast Guardsmen volunteer for MLK Jr. Day of Service in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Coast Guardsmen from Sector St. Petersburg and Air Station Clearwater volunteered at the Bob and Margaret Keelean Sallie House, a safe haven for children, during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event, Monday.

Coast Guardsmen volunteered their services under the guidance of the sector’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council (LDAC) and the Association of Naval Officers (ANSO) Tampa Bay chapter.

“This is the second time we host this kind of volunteer event,” said Lt. j.g. Carlos Ortega-Perez, sector’s Leadership Development and Assessment Course chairman. “The first event took place last year during the MLK Day of Service 2013. This year, thanks to the efforts from the leadership of the ANSO of Tampa Bay, enough funds were raised to impact all the children in the Salvation Army facilities.”

In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, volunteers gave back to the community by committing their time to serve. Coast Guard volunteers helped provide needed services to the facility, presented donations, and hosted an exciting day of games for the children under the care of the shelter.

After spending the morning restoring and cleaning the facility, the crewmembers spent the afternoon serving the children cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn while they observed the children play in a bounce house and multiple outdoor games.

“We provided the Salvation Army with much needed resources to assist the children under their care,” said Ortega-Perez. “We helped with improvements within the facilities and infrastructure with supplies and labor, and most importantly we serve as an example to the children that find themselves under the care of the Salvation Army. Our hope is that our efforts provide the children with a positive influence in their lives and show them there are still plenty of people who care about them.”

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