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Marines, Sailors Adopt-a-Block

By Cpl. Julie A. Paynter | | October 11, 2002

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Marines and Sailors of the Combat Center have found another way to help the community; through the Adopt-A-Block program.

All Marines and Sailors are welcome to volunteer with this program, doing odd jobs and cleaning yards of the homes helping patrons in the Twentynine Palms community.
Chaplain Olushola Isinkaiye, Headquarters Battalion, coordinated the project through Oasis Community Church.

"I was looking for something that would help Marines and Sailors use their free time productively instead of getting drunk or in trouble-something that could help enhance people's self esteem," said Isinkaiye.

The Adopt-A-Block program is officially run through the Oasis Community Church in Twentynine Palms, but Isinkaiye explained that this is for spiritual as well as non-spiritual Marines and Sailors.

"It's open to everybody.  You don't have to be Christian," said Isinkaiye.  "We just want to help people out."

"The kind of work we volunteers do is going door to door, meeting people, informing them who we are," said RP Daniel M. Pigeon, 1st Tank Battalion.  "We inform them who we are, that we are looking to help the community then we ask if we can help them with anything."

"From this volunteering, I hope that somehow a person will be positively affected and will benevolently put forth effort to be proactive and productive themselves for the common good of others around them," said Pigeon an active volunteer at the base protestant chapel and in Yucca Valley through fellowship and youth programs.  "The people we help, essentially, get clean yards or homes, but also, hopefully, a sense of community with the base here in Twentynine Palms and a sense of gratitude and rightly placed patriotism."

"Volunteering gives the Navy and Marine Corps a group of warriors who can, in our diversity of calls to both war and humanitarian assistance, give of themselves willingly," said Pigeon.  "Not just their lives on the battlefield but also their hearts."

"I've volunteered once and look forward to future opportunities," said Lance Cpl. Regina Charfauros, engineer, Headquarters Battalion.  "It's great to meet and interact with the people of the community, which is an experience that many of us should try.  It's also a change from the daily routine of work."

Isinkaiye will present volunteers with certificates of appreciation as a bonus incentive to volunteering in the community.
The community outreach program is coordinated through Oasis Community Chruch in Twentynine Palms and is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.  For more information contact Chaplain Olushola Isinkaiye at 830-6464.
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