Fighting Poverty with Passion
|“Last Friday we had our monthly community service project at the fantastic Samuel J. Green Charter School in uptown New Orleans (home of the “Edible Schoolyard” program). Green is one of the three schools our VISTA colleague, Kelly, works with through New Orleans Outreach. As VISTAs, we all love doing these service projects because they present us with volunteer opportunities that are tangible and, uniquely, have one-day achievable goals; we can experience community improvements within a few hours rather than the incremental changes associated with our year-long assignments. Additionally, the service projects provide us with activities that enhance teamwork and esprit de corps and allow us to bring assistance directly to the community.
Typical of most service projects, at Green our assigned tasks were diverse and relatively simple: we unloaded and organized dozens of boxes of donated books; set up and connected hardware in the computer lab; color coded cans of paint; assembled furniture. Not only are these activities productive, but they’re also a lot more fun than sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen all day. And, of course, the organizations are always appreciative…there’s nothing like making people smile for an immediate and worthwhile reward. I urge anyone outside of our AmeriCorps VISTA program who is reading this to look into service projects in their own communities – there is no lack of need and the smiles extend beyond all boundaries.” -Jim Trombella, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader