Less than one week until I head down to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in the US Open with my USA Deaf team. This will be the first time I have met any of my teammates or coaches. I am super excited but nervous at the same time. I have attempted to learn some sign language but at this moment in time I don’t know very much. I think I am less nervous for the volleyball and more nervous about rooming and communicating with these girls. Even though I am nervous, I am excited to be able to put on a jersey that says USA #10. I am sure this will be a very rewarding experience!
6 Days! Until then you will find me training, lifting, running, and playing volleyball while trying to learn sign language.
3/20/13 Shepherd Orientation: 1.5 hours
3/23/13 Greentree Assisted Living: 3 hours
4/613 Jireh Sports Cleaning: 3 hours
4/12/13 NCAA Hall of Champions: 3 hours
4/17/13 Shepherd, Letter Writing: 2 hours
4/26/13 Wheeler Elementary School: 3 hours
4/27/13 Great Alley Cleanup: 4.5 hours
Grand Total: 20 hours community service
Great Alley Clean-Up 2013
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis
Time: 7:30am-12noon (4.5 hours of service)
This community service activity was by far the most strenuous and physically demanding activity I did over the entire course of the semester. It didn’t require a constant input of demanding work, but over a period of 3-4 hours needless to say I was beat once finished. For this task I was placed into a team of 8 individuals (this included Alex Felt, who is also in our class as well). We were given alleys near Butler’s campus to pick up trash and clean in any way that we could. Since we were the largest group we were given two alleys and a connector. Each alley ran approximately from 43rd street, nearly to 38th street and were located near Graceland and Capitol.
Alex and I went to tackle a small, approximately 1-2 block portion of an alley. Little did we know, we actually picked the alley with the most trash and bigger items and it was quite a task. By the time we were done with just that small area, the rest of the alleys had been cleaned and the rest of the group had caught up with us. Our group had also shrunk from 8 people to 6 people total as two gentlemen seemed to disappear and leave us quite early in the day.
To clean our alley, 6 or 7 giant yellow trash bags were used. We filled up 3 or 4 of the bags with soggy, wet, moldy cardboard boxes filled with articles of clothing, diapers, marco’s pizza boxes, barbies, etc. Everything was trash and there was lots of it. Alex and I started the morning off strong with good, positive go-get-em’ attitudes but it didn’t take long before a cloud of doubt that we hadn’t made any progress settled over our heads and around 9:30 we took a small break and came back refreshed.
Overall, after walking down a completed alley you can easily notice the difference in the level of cleanliness. We had one gentlemen exit his house to thank us for our services and it made us feel appreciated even when it felt like we weren’t making much progress in reducing the amount of trash in that alley, let alone the entire universe. The point being, even if we were only making a difference for one or two people it still made at least somewhat of a difference and that is what mattered.
5pm-8pm (3 hours)
Wheeler Elementary School Carnival
This volunteer opportunity was very exciting for me as my previous opportunities were mainly behind the scene, nitty-gritty work. This involved face to face interaction with kids who were out the carnival and I loved every minute of it. I was put in charge of an inflatable activity that involved taking tickets, checking to make sure the environment was safe and that only two kids were racing and on the apparatus at a time. Since the inflatable was an obstacle course and involved two people racing against each other I had the struggle to make sure that each willing participant had a partner to race against if desired. I also gave orders for the children to take off shoes, glasses, or any decorative headwear during the activity. I may be a tad biased, but I am pretty sure that the inflatable was super popular and all the kids really enjoyed that activity.
My favorite memories from this event was just seeing so many smiling, positive, and enthusiastic faces ready to go and have fun at the carnival. All the kids were appreciate when I held their stuff and many went on the ride multiple times. One pair of sisters that went on the ride really stood out for me. A girl and her very young, less than two year-old sister went on the inflatable at least two times. Each time because of the very young sister it took quite a while for them to complete the ride but the sister was willing to take her time and help her struggling sister make it through and complete the obstacle course. Each time I thought they were precious and I loved the fact that the older sister was so willing to help the much younger sisters, and I loved how the younger sister was so enthused and willing to go on the ride.
I really enjoyed this volunteer work. Even though I had to set up before and help clean up some afterwards, it was the smiling kids and their enthusiasm that made it all worth it.