Monday, January 26, 2015

Off Week

In the past two weeks, I have not done much work on my 20 Time Project.  I have been very busy with everything including preparing and non-stop studying for all of my midterms. There was hardly a minute to spare! I wish I could've done more and made more progress on my project.
I am still waiting on a response from Detroit Public Schools with regard to their tutoring program. I emailed DPS Reading Corps a while back, giving them my information and asking if it was possible that I could get involved in their tutoring program. The way this program works is that you go to one of the Detroit Public Elementary schools at least once a week and help the little kids read and do their homework. This program came about when Detroit Public Schools tested with very low percentiles in reading. Studies show that if a child cannot read before third grade, they can be permanently behind in learning and reading abilities. The DPS Reading Corps has helped many kids and gotten many volunteers involved in the schools. This opportunity can help thousands of kids get a better education in Detroit. I would love a position there and be able to help out while developing a relationship with the kids. Hopefully, DPS Reading Corps will email me back soon so I will know if this could work for me, and, if not, I will try to pursue a different one of my goals for my 20 Time Project.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Over the Holidays

There is no better time of the year to give back to those in need than the holiday season! I am so happy with the amount of work I did on my project over winter break.  My friends, family, and I did things such as going downtown to volunteer at Cass Community Social Services and handing out candy canes to homeless people downtown.

I'm very excited about the amazing experience we had at CCSS when we went in to volunteer. I had been in contact with Sue Pethoud, who is in charge of talking to and scheduling volunteers, and she helped me set up a date that would fit my schedule and hers. I got a group of my family and friends together and went down to CCSS at about 8:30 am on Friday, January 2. We met many people that work at Cass by feeding and helping the less fortunate every day. Of these people, Willie was the man that helped us the most. He put us to work until about noon. Us girls started out in the pantry where we cleaned out and restocked the huge refrigerator to prepare for that night's dinner. After, we made the dinner! While there was music playing and people laughing, we chopped more onions, peppers, and celery than I have ever seen in my life! We finished a meal consisting of mashed potatoes, steaks, hamburgers, and much more. The food had many places it would go to such as first floor dining, second floor dining, and mother and children dining for their housing building. Cass also prepares food for the jail in Detroit.  All around, it was a great day volunteering at CCSS. I made friends with many people there and they are staying in contact with me. I know they can help me a lot with my 20 Time Project and keep me involved in ways to help out Detroit and its people, considering that that is their job. I know I will be going back to Cass soon (hopefully on a Saturday so I can serve the people myself, as Willie suggested). It was an eye-opening and inspiring experience and knowing that you helped feed hundreds of people in need is an amazing feeling.

Also, just for fun, when I was downtown over break, my family and I handed out candy canes to people that looked like they were homeless or in need. Although one candy cane can not change someone's life drastically for the better, it may at least make their day. It was just one small way to spread Christmas spirit throughout the soul of Detroit and brighten the day and Christmas season for the people of Detroit.

I did, however, have one failure over Christmas break. One of my main goals was to raise money for K-mart's Christmas Layaway in order to pay off the layaways of people in need and help the children and families of Detroit have a better Christmas. My family has done this many times in past years and planned to go again this year, but I would just raise money this year and bring a lot more than I have in the past so I could make a bigger impact. Long story short, my ways of raising money were not working out in my favor and the craziness of Christmas time caught up with my family and we missed our time we planned to go. It was a huge disappointment to me just because in the past, it has been an extremely humbling experience and makes you realize everything you should be grateful for just by helping other people have a better Christmas and receive things they would otherwise not be able to have. I hope I will be able to pay off some K-mart layaways next Christmas.

Overall, I made a lot of great progress over winter break and I am motivated to keep going with my project because I have felt how great it is to complete the tasks I have prepared for. I am in contact with the people at Cass and hopefully will go back in soon, in addition to everything else I have planned. It was an inspiring and successful holiday season!
Us at Cass with Willie!