EAST OAKLAND (KCBS)— For some people this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has been about protests and shutdowns, but for others it’s been a day of service for many who volunteered to pick up garbage in East Oakland.

It’s something Eric Bobrycki, one of the program’s volunteers, has done for nine years. He brings young people with him from the Next Generation Academy in Valley Springs to pick up trash.

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“It’s a good thing to do. It’s simple, straight up and we can see how clean it is afterward,” he said.
Mike Hillet of San Leandro said he believes their work is having an impact because there was a lot less trash to pick up.

“This is a positive problem because it’s extremely different than last year. [When] we had piles on the corners,” he said.

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Students of all ages were part of the day of service including Fremont High School Student Christian Oriana.

“I’m a senior,” he said. “I thought we should set an example and then we saw middle schoolers. It was really nice to be out here.”

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In addition to picking up trash, the volunteers painted over graffiti-ed walls with their handprints to symbolize their goal of taking back their community.