A Week of Service: In Review....
This has been one of the greatest weeks for me in a long time. In the words of the Beetles "the love you take is equal to the love you make." This week I participated in both activities that were posted in the volunteer section through Hands On Greater Portland.
The first project was helping to clean up Laurelhurst Park in SE Portland. Again, it was very rewarding. If you would like to know more about it in detail, read the Blog I wrote on it earlier this week. In summary, we helped to clear out debris and noxious plants. We had to work around a movie crew that was filming a new Harrison Ford/Brendan Frazer movie. I had the opportunity to meet some new people all of whom apparently work often with the Laurelhurst crew since they were all on a first name basis and I was commonly referred to as "You." By the end I accepted it as a term of endearment.
The second, and final project I participated in was Paint it Up: Faubion Elementary School in North Portland. Now I need to get a little something off my chest. The directions on this site to the school were COMPLETELY wrong. Instead of being on Grover off Rosa Parks Way, Faubion Elementary School is on 27th and Dekum. It's only about a 26 block difference. Instead of being half an hour early, I had to stop and ask directions 5 times and just made it on time.
As for the project itself I had a great time. To set the scene, Faubion Elementary is probably about 50 years old. The tile floors have been warn down to the point where permadirt is embedded in the high traffic, single file lines children walk in down the halls. The hallway where we were painting had grey metal tiles, about six feet tall, lining the walls all the way down. The tiles had a full school years worth of dirt stuck to the leftover soaps and sodas that had been spilled nearby. These were the tiles our group was painting.
When I first arrived we started cleaning the walls on the inside. I soon discovered that not everyone is as detail oriented as I am. I am a bit of a perfectionist and ended up going over things others thought were "good enough for volunteers" so the paint would actually stick. In my opinion, any job worth doing is worth doing right. After prepping, cleaning, and priming the walls, we stepped outside to tape and repaint the covered basketball courts.
This group was pretty good at communicating and working as a team. Taping straight lines without any tools can be pretty difficult unless you have a good team. This group was a lot younger group than the group at Laurelhurst and did a great job. We then went back inside and finished painting the walls. The students at James Faubion Elementary school will have a new environment to walk into next fall and I hope the brighter, cleaner colors will help to encourage a positive learning environment.
Since I have started volunteering again, it almost seems as though my world is rotating on a different axis. Good things are happening. Some may call it Karma, some call it Cosmic Order, others call it the work of God or A God, and some believe it's pure coincidence. Either way, I like it. I hope to see you all at future events. There is still plenty of time to sign up for the Oregon Food Bank on this coming Saturday, June 20th.