Fighting Poverty with Passion
|“This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service was possibly the most fulfilling and inspiring I’ve ever spent. Following a yummy breakfast of homemade pecan waffles, three fellow VISTAs and I got together in the morning to join our good friend, Macon, a local gardener, for a deeply satisfying day of chopping, hauling and raking to prepare a community garden space for growing. When we started the project that morning, most of the lot was covered in waist-high overgrowth; with the help of fifteen or so volunteers from local universities, we had a substantial space cleared, raked and virtually ready for prepping and planting by the early afternoon.
The weather was beautiful. The company was positive and upbeat. Folks from the neighborhood stopped by to help out, share stories and offer expertise. We all worked hard and laughed often. The bike ride home found me in high spirits. As if I weren’t already feeling peaceful and thankful, the day only got better from there. We joined another group of friends at City Park where we played ultimate Frisbee with some visiting students from Cornell until the sun went down.
At the end of the day, three of us took turns reading through Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while we waited for supper to finish in the oven. Such powerful words from such an inspiring leader. And here we are today. We have so much to learn from our collective histories, nay, from OUR HISTORY as a people, as one human race of interdependent individuals.
I am grateful for this day and for every day so long as we progress toward greater equality for every woman, man and child… “Because the world owes us nothing and we owe each other the world (Ani DiFranco).” And I am grateful to be here in New Orleans, learning all I can from a city with innumerable stories to tell.” -Holley Roberts, AmeriCorps VISTA Member