The annual United Way Day of Caring was last Thursday, and as an Americorps Alumni I took part in a service project (although it actually took place on Saturday) along with some of the new team members for this year and a couple of my colleagues from last year.
What did we do? We painted, of course. 😀
As if I haven’t had enough of painting recently, I signed up for an afternoon slinging a brush at a local group home for autistic kids. Whadda ya gonna do? You got a skill, you run with it.
Anyway, the morning crew had gotten a lot done by the time we got there, and our crew managed to almost finish the rest of it. By the time we were heading home, the only things left were some touch up work on the walls and a second coat on the trim. Sweet.
The local paper said that this year’s Day of Caring resulted in 1600 volunteers helping 87 programs with 6500 hours of service for an estimated $122,000 worth of services. Don’t know that those figures included our group, since our project didn’t happen on Thursday, but still – wow. That’s an incredible happening to be a part of.
That’s the point of Americorps Alums, though – the concept that serving your community doesn’t just end when your term of service does. The goal of Americorps Alums, aside from being a support system for previous Americorps members, is to produce citizens who are committed to a lifetime of service. I’m one of them and I can definitely tell you this – you’ll get back far more than you will ever have the capacity to give. Being able to live in a community that you know you are helping to make stronger, better and more successful is a buzz that no drug can touch and no downturn can take away.