On July 11th 2011, for a day of service in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Legacy Summit, over 100 Tillman Military Scholars converged for the first time on the Oliver neighborhood in East Baltimore. The spirit of service was strong amongst those volunteers, and led to the launch of Operation Oliver: an indefinite commitment by The 6th Branch to the complete and holistic revitalization of the Oliver neighborhood. Since then much has been accomplished by way of neighborhood beautification, economic development, youth outreach, and service to neighboring residents.
On July 23rd 2012, 30 Pat Tillman Foundation Tillman Military Scholars, 10 Team Rubicon volunteers, 5 The Mission Continues fellows, and our regular OpOliver crew returned for another day of service to this community. Along with our veteran-led partners theVeteran Artist Program and the Come Home Baltimore Foundation, we continued our attack on the decades of neglect and physical blight that plague our neighborhood. Here’s a rundown of what was accomplished: 1.) Repaired and replaced 12 swings on the playground at Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary School, and painted 10 park benches to correspond with our VAP-commissioned murals. 2.) Cleaned up a weed infested, abandoned parking lot used for drug stashing and drops. 3.) Built play equipment across from the Bethel St. Garden to encourage kids to play there, and not on the main thoroughfares of the neighborhood. Our “civilians” were comprised of several dedicated and long-time supporters and we were extremely happy to have them join us for what was effectively the one year anniversary of the partnership that became Operation Oliver. Thanks to everyone who came out and worked with us. The energy level amongst our volunteers this day was as high as it has ever been. Your hard work has made, and continues to make, a real impact. We look forward to more events like this one in the months to come. To find out more about our partners, check out these links: Veteran Artist Program Come Home Baltimore Foundation Semper Fidelis Health and Wellness Team Rubicon The Mission Continues Pat Tillman Foundation Community Lobby