Sunday, September 13, 2009

Service begins/Week 2 in review

We finished the second week pretty strong. The highlight of Thursday was learning about service days - days when we go outside the schools and work on a day-long project. Often, these service days are done in partnership with various companies who have paid for the privilege of spending the day with us. On these days, corps members become Project Coordinators, leading a team of corporate volunteers in various tasks.

Thursday's longest session was dedicated to this. We first got a briefing as a big group, then rotated through three stations, teaching us how to lead the group, how to perform basic construction techniques, and how to run a painting station. This part made me a bit nervous; anyone who knows me knows that I am far too clumsy to be trusted with a pushpin, let alone a circular saw. I expect to lose at least one limb through the course of this year. Or at least spill paint all over my pants.

Friday was our first day of real service, in honor of the 9/11 national day of service. We had originally scheduled to paint a shed at a boat-building organization called Rocking the Boat, but rainy weather put the kibosh on that. Instead, we headed to World Visions, a worldwide relief organization that, among other things, puts together care packages for needy children. Our team spent the day in their warehouse, sorting goods, assembling packages, and doing some heavy lifting while we were at it. My muscles are positively bulging now. Along the way, we got to know members of other teams, and meet some local high school students that were joining us for the day. They were all rather quiet, but I hope they keep this up. Whenever people ask me why I joined City Year, I tend to point back to my high school's community service program as a beginning.

Week 3 is about to begin. Lots of ambiguously titles training sessions, but the highlight should be finding out who is on our permanent teams. Updates to follow.

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