“Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” ~ Og Mandino
My ohh my is service great! Going down to North Carolina during spring break and doing service with an amazing group of people was nothing like I could ever imagine. First things first, serving your community back home is a rewarding experience enough, but serving an impoverish community in which you don’t live in is even more eye opening. Children’s Health and Wellness Alternative Break was an eye opening experience that I will never forget.
Our trip took us to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, one of the poorest cities in the United States. Our service was partnered through an organization name The Down East Partnership for Children or DEPC. Wow was this organization filled with passion, love and endless service for the children in their community. As soon as we walked in their doors they said they felt as if they were adopted and welcomed us all with hugs. This action spoke volume to what they want for their community. Through DEPC they work with local schools in the county on creative outdoor learning environments, fixing playgrounds and having healthy learning atmospheres.
Our service consisted of outdoor learning environment renovations with THE man Tom who volunteers with the DEPC to help create a difference is his community. We fixed benches and stained them, laid mulch down for freshly planted trees, moved rocks into learning area and pulled weeds up off the ground. The most impactful service we did though was interact with the kids. We were given the opportunity to read and work on their daily work with them. During this time we also got to talk about college and passions and all sorts of random things. In all honesty some of their answers were heartbreaking to hear. Some kids worried about getting around because they won’t have a car, or even being able to because they don’t have the money, and the craziest one I heard was will they have a place to sleep at night. Children shouldn’t have to think about these types of things in 3rd grade. Being able to come to these school was an eye opening experience being able to see how their lives are impacted by the resources they are provided.
With everything that we did and what DEPC provided us, Rocky Mount will always have a place in my heart. Children are the future of our time and being able to create an impact that could transform their education for the future and their all around health is something great in itself. Thank you CMU for providing this perspective and opportunity to do service not only for others, but for the benefit of others futures.