Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day of Service

This past weekend like so many others I took some time out to do something for my community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I joined more than 4,000 volunteers doing one of 50 worthwhile projects at a Chicago Care’s serv-a-thon event. It was a long day, but, very rewarding since I was able to take part in contributing to something that will be a part of a Chicago school for years to come. Here is what I helped make that day.

The project took close to 6 hours , 20 people and 12 sets of dominoes to build. I was paired with someone else to build a section of the mosaic, counted out the dominoes that were necessary, and then glued them on and connected them with the rest of the pieces to form the final picture you see here. The project may not seem that hard, but, it required a great deal of patience. For more information about this project and a new one that looks like Barak Obama, visit

Other service teams built and painted benches and bookshelves, cleaned and reshelved the library, and painted small murals for the gym and hallway. In addition to doing something for someone else, I was able to remotivate myself to take part in something bigger than myself on a regular basis.

I also witnessed a great speech by civil rights activist, Rev. C.T. Vivian, who worked with Dr. King himself to protest racial discrimination in the 1960s. He brought to light an important aspect of Dr. King that I had never thought of before. He was one of the greatest volunteers; not because he contributed through an organization that already existed , but, because he organized and lead the movement when there wasn’t one before. This takes profound courage.

A few years ago, I was a regular volunteer for Chicago Cares, an organization where you can choose from numerous volunteer opportunities when you are available and another one called Imagination Theater. IT works with both children and adults to build self-esteem, transcend limitations and improve well-being through interactive performances and workshops. Both of these organizations have served thousands of individuals in so many ways. It was also a really great way for me as a new person in Chicago so many years ago to make some quality friends. I am looking forward to doing this again in the near future. It was a lot of fun and something I really believe in.

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