Day of Service

It’s MLK day. Around here that means it is a day of service. Our church organized a lot of activities with our friends from the Divan center, a Turkish Muslim faith community, where we could could do things for other people. Since Russ’ office was closed (that does not mean he did not work) we volunteered to spend five and a half hours working for the greater good.

Russ and I signed up to be the people who “could be sent on any job.” That meant that we started at church and helped back “Welcome Home” baskets for homeless people that the CASA agency finds permanent homes for. We had laundry baskets and we filled them with things you might need when setting up your first home, like kitchen utensils, and dish towels, cleaning supplies, personal care items and some food. Since we just set Carter up in her apartment in Boston I know that when you have nothing and need everything it is very expensive.

We had a lot of help doing this task. I was making bows to adorn the baskets which held a large trash bag with all the items inside. Nothing like a bow to dress up a trash bag. I had the pleasure of teaching a young woman from the Divan center who is a junior in high school so we talked about her studying for the SAT’s and her interest in going into medicine. Her family had moved to the states five years ago from Turkey and she was a delightful helper and excellent bow maker.

We finished the CASA baskets in record time so Russ and I drove two of our new Turkish friends to Githens middle school where we built new picnic benches while others refurbished old broken down ones.

Russ’ large collection of power saws, cordless drills and ratchet sets came in handy. Our years of watching This Old House and general handy man knowledge was useful. Russ did feel like the loss of wood shop in schools was showing in the young people and needs to be brought back.

The bonus for me is Githens is a huge school so I got all my steps in for the day as I went to photograph other people painting walls in classrooms and fixing picnic tables in other areas.

I am certain the the other groups who went to Reality Ministries and Hope Valley Elementary were equally successful as were the people back at church who were writing letters to cancer patients, prisoners and elected officials.

Over all there were well over a hundred people who came out to work together. I enjoyed meeting our Muslim neighbors as well as our own church members. Thanks to Amy Hill and the Deacons for organizing the whole day. It felt like the best thing to do to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

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