Monday, December 8, 2014

The Season of Giving

After listening to Georgia talk about following your passion, I'm more excited than ever to jump into my 20 Time Project. What really stuck out to my about what she said is about the "dead weeks". These are the weeks that you're pretty much just waiting on things and getting prepared for the project. Georgia said, "let the dead weeks happen" and "just thinking about your project is doing work on it" which are two things the seemed very relevant to my project. Right now is a lot of idea planning and organizing. I am still eagerly waiting for Detroit Public Schools Reading Corps to email me back so I will know if I am qualified to go there to help kids read and do their schoolwork. Also, the dates for my first day volunteering and feeding people at Cass Community Social Servies are all picked out! I am so happy and can't wait to go in and help. In addition to these two volunteer opportunities that I am waiting on, it is the season of giving which has inspired me to do something Christmas related. With this idea, I researched what I could do to make the people of Detroit have a better Christmas. I found the Toys R Us layaway program which is essentially, people paying off layaways for others that cannot afford to buy all the presents they wish to for their kids. My family has participated in the past and I think it is a perfect way to help out those in need have a great Christmas. So, throughout the month of December I will be raising as much money as possible to give to Toys R Us to pay off the layaways. Because Christmas is coming so soon, this is the most important of my priorities as of right now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 3

I am still in the midst of trying to organize and find ways to achieve my goal of restoring Detroit. As you heard in my last blog post, I have been in touch with Sue Pethoud from Cass Community Social Services. She is helping me pick dates, get information, and organize when I will go to CCSS to help out. Though, of course, volunteering is made to be easy so it is appealing to people, there is a lot more planning and organizing than I thought!  I am making great progress with Cass though and I am hoping that my first visit there (since the start of my 20 Time Project) will be coming up within the next few weeks. This is very exciting to me because I am hoping that volunteering and helping out at CCSS will be a huge part of my project and I will be there as often as possible.

In addition to CCSS, I researched a lot about what I can do for the kids of Detroit. It has come to my attention that Detroit schoolchildren's test scores ranked lowest in the nation on the National Assesment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. It is obviously that if the children of the city are more educated, they can have brighter futures, and therefore, a brighter future for Detroit. I immediately knew I wanted to do what I can to help those kids. I researched about a volunteering opportunity set up by Detroit Public Schools where people tutor and help kids Pre-K to about 3rd grade read. This, to me, was a great idea and something that I could really be good at. I went through all the steps of applying to volunteer. I am still anxiously waiting for an e-mail back, but hopefully I will hear from DPS soon!

Though it looks like my project is all glamour so far, I have been having some struggles. Like I have talked about in my past blog posts, most volunteering opportunities that I have heard about are suited for organizations and set groups to help out. I'm doing my best to overcome these obstacles in ways such as talking to my mentors (for adult help) and asking my friends and family to think about helping me out and volunteering with me.  I'm very excited for what's to come soon with my project!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Preparations - 2nd Blog Post!

I'm extremely excited that I have already gotten a good start on my preparations for my 20 Time Project of restoring Detroit.  Because it is still very early, there were many things that had to be done before I could actually get into the fun stuff. I have been working very hard  researching different groups and organizations that have a similar goal to mine, improving Detroit for the good of the city and the people living in it. It is important for me to find people with the same motives because they could help me a great deal with my project, giving me motivation and new ideas. Also, this research helps me decide what route I want to follow in my project and how I expect to get there. In my research, I have been partially successful and partially unsuccessful. Though I have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of groups there are that are helping Detroit, it is obviously that some are closed groups that are organized by churches, work places, etc. that are not open to the public. One of my biggest goals that I looked forward to when having the idea of this project was to get involved as much as possible at Cass Community Social Services. CCSS does a ton for the people of the city in need in ways such as give them shelter, food, and health. Since volunteering at CCSS has been so important to me, I first found ways to contact them and set up dates when I can go in and volunteer. Sue Pethoud, one of the head people in charge at Cass, and I have been in contact over email and I am in the process of picking dates that fit in her schedule. I'm so excited that she e-mailed me back so quickly and showed me how easy it is to go in and help the people in need. I'm thrilled that my project is going smoothly so far and is being set up so perfectly that, soon, I'll be doing all the fun stuff'!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Blog Post!!

       Hi! My name is Halle Mogk and I was born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  Grosse Pointe is a community bordered by some sketchy parts of Detroit, which has helped me realize how lucky I am to live in such a nice suburb. I go into downtown Detroit very often whether it is to visit my dad at his work in the Guardian Building, to go to my favorite restaurants such as Joe Muer Seafood, or even to support my favorite teams- The Redwings and The Tigers.  While visiting these places, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of restoration and positive things happening in downtown Detroit.  There are many hip and cool things coming into downtown Detroit such as trendy restaurants, fashionable stores, and modern art.  Also, many people (including me) are realizing that the city has such great potential and if we all pitch in a little to help the places in need, it can become an all-around more appealing, safer, and better place for the people of the area to be proud of.  To accomplish that goal, I have realized that it is important to focus on the parts of Detroit that are truly struggling in order to improve and modernize the city as a whole.  And that, right there, is what inspired my 20 Time Project. 
        For my project, I will do multiple things to focus on the restoration of Detroit. This will include volunteering, donating, getting involved, and maybe even fundraising.  I have volunteered downtown at Cass Community Social Services in the past and it's always a humbling and inspiring event.  Hearing the stories of the people in need shows me how fortunate I am and motivates me even more to help out in any way I can.  For my project, I have a lot of ideas that of things that I want to do including volunteering at Cass, paying off Christmas layaways for families who can't afford to buy everything on their own, getting involved in and raising money for Detroit Public Schools, participating in clean up the city days, participating in walks, runs, 5k's, etc. that go towards the city, and much more.
        Along with doing what I can to restore Detroit, I will learn a lot about the hope that is already in the city and the things that are already being done to make the city a better place.  This would include learning about and getting involved with things such as the Heidelberg Project and researching the newest improvements happening in the city.  While doing my project, I plan to document each event with pictures and stories.  It would be amazing if, at the end, I could make a picture book (with captions and stories) of my experience as a whole so people can have a visual of what I actually did.
       In essence, throughout my 20 Time Project, my goal is to help the struggling areas and people in Detroit and use the hope that is instilled in the city to make it a place that outsiders will no longer think of as a dangerous and in the slumps area, but instead a hip, fun, and modern city that its people can truly be proud of.