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Volunteens take on service projects across Anchorage

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Heather Hintze - 7:48 PM July 15, 2014

A transformation took place Tuesday.

Every inch of the bridge at Pena Park was sanded. A fresh coat of paint was on the way.

All this effort was to prepare the bridge for what’s ahead.

“It’s actually my first week doing this, so it’s kind of new,” said 16-year-old volunteer Damaiya Ward.

A similar transformation was happening to the teens putting in the work.

“It’s always good to do something good for your community, help them out, and maybe inspire other children my age to come out and volunteer,” Ward said.

It’s not always easy, but 13-year-old Hans Reyers believes it’s worth it.

“I needed to help out somehow, so why not? Why not here?” Reyers said.

Reyers and Ward are both part of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department’s Volunteen program.

“We have tons of opportunities for volunteering, either through special events or just programs in general. I would hope that people would want to come out or even say thanks for volunteering to those kids,” said program coordinator Jennifer Thorne.

The group reaps the rewards of service and gains work experience.

“It looks good on my resume, so that’s a plus,” Reyers said.

Tuesday they were fixing a bridge. Next week it could be feeding hungry kids or visiting the elderly.

It’s life experience that’s as invaluable as all the work they do for others.

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