Editorials

Let us count the ways Love SLO is making a difference

Office manager Josh Bigelow moves a table in the warehouse at Interfaith Ministries in Modesto in preparation for the 2016 Love Modesto event. Love SLO, which will hold its second event Saturday, March 18, 2017, is modeled after the Modesto program.
Office manager Josh Bigelow moves a table in the warehouse at Interfaith Ministries in Modesto in preparation for the 2016 Love Modesto event. Love SLO, which will hold its second event Saturday, March 18, 2017, is modeled after the Modesto program. jlee@modbee.com

This is a love story — but not the one we expected to tell.

Thinking the event might need a boost, we had planned to help spread the word about Love SLO — an annual, communitywide service day. It’s an opportunity to spend a few hours volunteering for a variety of good causes, from donating blood to doing yardwork and cleaning at local shelters.

The event is being held Saturday, and we had intended to encourage (a polite term for badger) readers to show their love for San Luis Obispo by taking part.

But guess what? If you haven’t already registered, you’re too late.

“We’ve been sold out for a week and a half,” said Chris Blake, a Mission Prep administrator who started the event here last year with Stephanie Buresh, Mission Prep’s campus ministry and community service director. (In case you’re wondering, volunteers don’t have to pay. In fact, they get free T-shirts.)

Buresh and Blake modeled the project after a “love” event that started in Modesto and quickly spread to other cities. The first Love SLO was held last year and attracted about 650 people.

This year, more than 1,000 people registered, and if there had been more slots, Blake thinks he could have filled them.

As of Thursday morning, there were only a few openings left for volunteers who can provide special services, such as haircuts, manicures and chiropractic help for the homeless community. There also were 17 open slots for CPR training. (Check the list at www.loveourcitiesprojects.com/projects/san-luis-obispo.)

We’re stunned — in a good way.

We always knew San Luis Obispo was a generous community, but we never expected spots on a volunteer roster to become almost as sought after as those special straws that McDonald’s was giving away as a promotion for its Shamrock Shakes.

Buresh and Blake deserve credit for bringing this worthwhile event to San Luis Obispo.

More good news: They are willing to help out other local communities that may want to start the tradition in their towns.

By the way, if you missed out on volunteering this year, you can wait for next year’s event to roll around. But that’s such a long way off that you might want to consider more immediate volunteer opportunities. The United Way website is a good place to start: www.volunteerslo.org.

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