City Councilman Mike Driscoll and state Rep. Pat Gallagher on Monday held a Martin Luther King Day of Service at Tacony Baptist Church, 4715 Disston St.
The event was coordinated by the Rev. Evelyn Barnes, pastor at Tacony Baptist, and Michele Fleming, an aide to Driscoll.
More than 40 volunteers sprung into action, cleaning areas along Disston Street, east of Torresdale Avenue. The group consisted of residents, high school students earning community service hours and members of Driscoll’s and Gallagher’s staffs, Tacony Baptist, the Tacony Civic Association board and Northeast Philadelphia Development Corporation.
The Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) provided supplies and picked up more than 55 bags of trash, debris and leaves.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services provided 75 bags of groceries for the needy. Sharing Excess donated fresh produce for those bags. Fink’s Hoagies donated lunch for volunteers.
Pastor Barnes thanked everyone for their commitment to the community, as it deals with concerns such as graffiti, trash and loitering. She singled out the Tacony Civic Association and Tacony Community Development Corporation for their help.
Barnes said Monday’s cleanup really made a difference and was part of God’s vision.
“We were challenged to put our concern into action,” she said. “This was a collaborative effort that we couldn’t have done on our own. We are thrilled.”
Tacony Baptist dates to 1882, and includes generations of families as members. The site was recently deemed historic.
Last month, the church suffered some significant damage, as an out-of-control driver crashed into its steps, railings and fencing.
Barnes noted that Tacony Baptist has survived wars and pandemics, adding that, through prayer, the necessary repairs will be made. ••