Monday, June 19, 2006

All In A Day's Work

I had the immense pleasure of participating in a Service Day with City Year. It's an incredible organization that enables 17 to 24 year olds to spend a year doing transformative service projects around the city. They are often assigned in small groups to a particular school or community center and do the majority of their service working with a group of children.

On Saturday June 17, the public was invited to volunteer and spend a day of service with City Year. We all assembled on the campus of Columbia University at 9am to receive our assignment for the day. I brought my 2 sons along so that they could start to understand the importance of volunteer work.

We were about 1600 strong. The majority were City Year corps members, the rest, regular volunteers. We heard some speeches, did a little PE, and then were deployed to our site for the day. My company sponsors the Hunts Point, Bronx corps members so that's where me and my group were sent.

Hunts Point Recreation Center is a really beautiful building but just in slight disrepair. So City Year keeps it spruced up. We painted murals, planted grass out front, repainted fences, drew new hopscotch grids on the was amazing. The green and white mural on top of this post was my creation. I mean i only had to paint it...i didn't do the sketch. But it was still very challenging. Me and the kids painted the background white first since the canvases were a little dirty. Then we did the green on top after it dried. The whole thing took us about 5 hours...

The best thing about City Year is the young people. On the ride to and from the service day, i talked with some of them...i was amazed at how intelligent, socially aware, and focused these kids were. They were inspiring to me and definitely gave me hope for the future generations.

My kids really enjoyed the service day and want to do it again. It would make me so proud if they also joined City Year one day.


Piscean Princess said...

I had no idea City Year did all of that. Sounds like fun. I'm assuming that last one is a family photo (?) - very cute indeed :)

Damali said...

family photo: yes :)

City Year is incredible...i wish it existed when i was that age but it didn't start in Philadelphia until 1997.