By Koy Severino The first thing that hits you when you step through the sliding glass door and out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the distinctive smell of Manila – a pungent cocktail of… More
The San Antonio group returned to the Baca Senior Citizen Center for their last day of serving this week. They helped move a large pantry and other kitchen items so the center can prepare to remodel the kitchen. Before arriving at the Baca Center they enjoyed breakfast at the famous Round Rock Doughnuts. We really enjoyed our week serving the Round Rock area.
Our Galveston team enjoyed our last day at Blue Santa! Retired Officers Eric Oakmon and Sharon Cannon did an amazing job helping us wrap presents for families in need! #goatx
Our team started off the day a little different than usual. We first split up into two different groups. Five of us went and joined the TLC program while the rest stayed to help around the school. The TLC program allows older kids with disabilities get out into the city and go to places such as: the church to help clean, HEB to go grocery shopping, or even participate in internships. While five of us helped with this program the other part of our team stayed at the school to work outside. We began with the beautification project by cleaning up the memorial garden and raking up the leaves. We then continued by sanding down one of the picnic tables and painting it pink, yellow, and blue. Around 12, our group all met up again to eat lunch. The school was so kind to provide us with pizza After our break we joined the kids to have a planting party.
All of us had a wonderful time getting to watch the students help us plant and water the gardens. It was such a joy to get to be a part of it. Finally, after we cleaned up from the garden we joined the kids at the student store. This ended up taking a great turn into a dance party. Getting to see the joy some of the students had getting to dance around made it ten times better. These kids are such a blessing and touched each and everyone of our hearts .I also want to thank the staff at the school and how much of a blessing they are. The entire school showed us nothing but kindness and seeing them interact with the children is so sweet. It was very hard to leave but our team will for sure be back to visit.
Today we continued to help out the Facilities Department by raking leaves, cleaning, hauling trash, hanging posters…Several HP students were able to interact in ASL with TSD employees and students. The appreciation from the school was heartfelt. Mrs. McCarty wants to make this a monthly service project next year!
Another day conquering the hearts of little ones and continuing to be a force at Summit Elementary! We have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to help kids and make an impact locally; right here in our own backyard (Summit is less than a mile from HP!)
Today, we kept working in the library sorting and putting books away. It was also part II of picture day at the school so we helped the little ones keep occupied while waiting their turn patiently. Many of the students know us by our name now and have been so sweet telling us they miss us and can’t wait to see us at lunch.
We also, continued helping in the classrooms. Gavin guided students in a letter game. Being a teacher aide is hard work. They oversee so many kids while still needing to make copies, hang up bulletins, cut out items; it’s a lot work and we all have a greater appreciation for what teachers do!
And lastly, we tackled the lunchroom again, where we continue to be a HUGE hit not only for the staff who have to do this every day for the kids as well. They play games with us and Ariel has been a student favorite teaching the “Boom, Boom Snap” hand game to many excited kids! They love raising their hands and when asked what we can help them with (if they need a napkin, spoon, etc.) they say um, nothing! Laugh and then give us a huge smile. They have definitely opened up a lot to us and shown us a lot of love.
It’s hard to believe tomorrow is our last day!
Today we went to Hand to Hold. This organization serves parents who have babies that need to stay in the NICU. We helped with some planning and preparing decorations for their gala that’s coming up and we made scent cloths. These are small squares of flannel that are used to help babies in the NICU and their parents stay connected throughout the stay. We enjoyed learning more about their organization.
We split into two groups again today. One group painted the office we prepped yesterday and the other unpacked and organized a STEM classroom at a brand new elementary school in Austin. We ended the day with the after school program working with Side by Side Kids.
The Atlanta team is working at Partnership for Children (PFC). We were assigned to work in the warehouse to clean out space for new shelves. We organized all the toy and all the other donated items that PFC provides to the children in their care. We unboxed and assembled about 100 car seats. We have learned that some children live in bad homes and have difficult lives. Our work can help have a positive impact on them by making it easier for PFC to provide needed items. We also now understand how much of a difference we would make in just a few hours or days.
Today we got to spend the day at Candlelight Ranch for the second day in a row. We got to split up into two groups of five and do multiple projects all around the camp. While one group was flattening gravel for a zip line and organizing a shed on the dock, the other was cleaning out some plants at the front gate, hanging a net for archery, and clearing out space for a stream to flow. Just the way that everyone was reacting to our work and how grateful they were for us to be there was all the motivation we needed. The smiles on their face as they saw our hard work was just amazing and we had so much fun doing this for their ranch.
After sleeping in this morning, we met up at school and hopped on our bus to head to the location of the day. Our adventure led us back to the lovely St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church. After unloading some tools and grabbing paints and pool noodles, we got to work painting our Dragons nest! With the dragon eggs completed when we last visited, we were determined to finish all of the components for the medieval nest. With some members working to put up a beautiful cross along the mindfulness path behind the building, others stayed inside and painted. While the girls were jamming out to music, painting, having a fun time making the vision that the church had imagined come to life, the boys slipped out to run an errand and grab a sweet surprise. Celebrating the birthday of Mary Claire, the boys brought back yummy ice cream sweets and refreshing sodas for everyone, which we enjoyed while we sang to her. Today’s tasks, assigned by our friends at the church, was pushing to get ready for the Vacation Bible School events put on every year for the children involved with the church. The staff and everybody involved with St. Luke’s put on this program to help children learn about and get closer to Jesus. With every component that goes into this project, we were thrilled to be a part of such an impactful project and glad we could help the sweet people at St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church. We had a wonderful day and hope to come back in the future!