Monday, July 30, 2012

SRU Summer Carebreak 2012 day 3

Day Three

Hi everyone, my name is Carmen Fortunato. I am a senior communication major with an emphasis on public relations and I will be your blogger for the day! Today, we woke up around 8 a.m. for our first day of service. Today we went to Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) homeless shelter to help Katie, the owner of the Ottawa branch.

            We arrived at PADS for our first day of service shortly after 9 a.m. We rolled into the parking lot sleepy-eyed after our long but fun day in Chicago. Once we stepped out of the RV are sleepiness subsided with the anticipation of a day’s work. Katie, who thanked us for the help, met us outside and we began our tour of the shelter. The shelter was very well kept and in order. You could tell immediately that Katie puts her heart and soul into the shelter. Katie is married with three kids who were there to help us throughout the day. Our first job was to begin work outside.
            Katie explained to us that the previous year when they cleaned up the outside of the shelter it took her and her family three days to finish. She was thrilled to see the seven of us out there to work outdoors for her. It was a beautiful morning to work outdoors, although it was hot. Our work consisted of weeding, gardening, trimming and weed-whacking. We ran into a few hiccups with the weed-wacker and hedge clippers but Bob, who was a member of the board for PADS, graciously bought us new string for our trimmer.

            Grace and Biz were weeding the garden that grew potatoes and onions. Mike and I were on weed and ivy patrol and made pretty short work of the pesky weeds. Leigh Ann was pruning the trees while Austin and Brad were trimming and cleaning up trash. During the day Mike took the role as ‘Bucket Man’, which we happily named him because of the bucket he carried around to pick up the trimmings. Unlike the Batman, Bucket man was very open to people knowing his identity. After finishing up inside, we moved indoors to clean bathrooms, floors and sort out the kitchen.

            After we cleaned Katie shared some stories about her time at the shelter. Most were pleasant and talked about the positive experience she has had running the shelter. Katie thanked us once again for our work and we were on our way to a neighboring town to register Grace, Mike and myself to drive the RV. Weary, we made our way home to showers and some of the best Pizza I’ve ever had at Austin’s aunt and uncle’s house. Overall, the day was a success and showed us all what a solid day’s work can do for the body. Yes we are sore, but it is a sore that comes from a day of helping out someone who has dedicated their life to helping those who are not blessed with a place of their own.

            Katie told us of a few people who came into the shelter with nothing and left with something. That something varied from a job to a full stomach, a good night’s rest or even something as small as hope. I learned today that the smallest act of kindness can do so much. Whether that act is a warm bed and hot meal or simply mopping a floor, we can never underestimate the impact a helping hand can have.

            Now we head off to Denver where we will be driving through the night. Shifts of drivers and co-pilots have been set-up to allow each of us to sleep accordingly. The Boys and Girls Club awaits us in the Mile High City, and I can’t wait to get started again.

Signing off, Carmen   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Orlando care break day 2

So my name is Tyler and this will be my sophomore year as a undecided major. This care break was one of the best decisions that I've made since I have been in college. I love to travel and to help people so this was perfect. Today we went to "Give Kids The World Village". I started off at Amberville, which is like an indoor play area.  They have a pool table, video games, and a basketball game. All the kids were great. Later on we were each paired up with a kid (our bff) whom we would stick with the rest of the night. My kid’s name was Taylor. He was amazing. Taylor had two brothers named Dustin and Jordan. One of the best things about him is how caring he is for his brothers. He was also very shy and reluctant about everything but once he got a little encouragement he would do anything and always tried his best. The last thing we did was take the kids to a talent show in which they performed at. Taylor wanted to tell jokes but ultimately he was too scared to go through with it. Overall, it was a very productive and rewarding day 2!

Orlando Care Break Day 2

My name is Sydney Carter and I am a Junior at SRU. I am a Public Health Major, Spanish minor and the President of Women's Empowerment Leadership Group. This care break at “Give Kids the World Village” has been a true humbling experience. Today, I worked with children and had a chance to have a "BFF" for the day. We got to play together and then perform a kid’s version of American Idol. The non-profit organization really does go above and beyond for the families. The families really enjoyed themselves and got a chance to escape from all of the stress and worries of their children. Working with the children hands on and meeting the families has been a blast! I would HIGHLY recommend organizations looking into this place and becoming a part of the work they do.

Orlando Carebreak Day 2

Hello, my name is Tracey McPherson and I am a senior at Slippery Rock University. Today was our second day volunteering at Give Kids the World Village. Today I was placed at the horse riding area. I was responsible for assisting the children while they rode horses around the track. This was a great experience for both me and for all of the children that we came across. Many of these children were sick and even in wheelchairs which made horse-riding a very big deal. It was rewarding for me to see the joy on their faces and it made me happy to know that I played a part in creating their wonderful experience. Although it was very hot outside and the horse kept whipping me with its tail, I would do it all over again.

Later on this evening our group participated in an event called Kids Night Out and this event allowed the parents of these children to get a break and have some time for themselves. Each of us volunteers was paired up with a child. We played with our assigned children for about an hour before we went to the Gingerbread House for dinner. After dinner we went to the theater in the village where we watched or participated in Village Idol. This event was a lot like American Idol and it gave each child the opportunity to show case their own unique talents. At the shows conclusion, each participant was given a ribbon as a reward. We all had a great time and the children really were great! Today was even better than the first day and I really anticipate what tomorrow will hold.

Orlando Care Break 2

Hello, my name is Sean Thomas. I am currently a criminal justice major; in the fall I will be entering my senior year of undergrad. For the past two days I've volunteered in the Amberville building which allowed me the opportunity to interact with different individuals. Today was a very interesting day; I had the opportunity to become bff's with one of the patients. I learned so much about the individual I had. Sam is a seven year old boy who lived in Jacksonville, Florida. He is entering the second grade and his birthday is June 5. He is the youngest sibling, like me. His favorite color is red and he loves football. His favorite professional football team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tomorrow, I promised him we could watch Power rangers and I’m really looking forward to it. I am truly amazed how connected I feel towards Sam. Tomorrow should be a blast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Orlando CareBreak Day 1

Hello All!

My name is Jahmara Marchman and I am an upcoming junior at Slippery Rock University. I am extremely grateful to have been able to experience this opportunity. Today was the first day of volunteering at “Give Kids The World Village” and the experience has been amazing thus far. The families are very kind and appreciative of what the facility and volunteers do for their families. I cannot wait for the second day of volunteering!

Orlando Carebreak Day 1

Hi... My name is Shantelle Scott and I am a junior at Slippery Rock University. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in the Orlando Carebreak and volunteer with Give Kids the World Village. Today I served and seated children for breakfast and in just those few short minutes you get to know them and see how special each and everyone one of them are. I also ran the carousel and got to see the joy on the faces of the children as they ran to their favorite animal and prepared for the ride! They were so excited and care-free and I was happy to see a smile on their face. This experience is so humbling and I am truly honored to be a volunteer for this great organization. Bring on day 2!