I'm volunteering for Philadelphia Cares this Saturday, with my friend, Debbie. We'll be helping out with (hopefully thousands!) of others to paint schools and repair playgrounds. It's a great cause, and who doesn't want to help children, especially the ones in Philly? If anyone wants to come out, let me know! (It's over by 2:30PM, you can't beat that...)
Below is a favorite old photo from a spring break service trip for Habitat for Humanity. We went to Jacksonville, Florida and helped build houses for a week. I'm so glad I did this. You really bond with people on those types of trips. My favorite was a girl who looked like Punky Brewster, if she took up smoking and wore a tool belt. Faux Punky, Anne (who was 4'-10" in high heels), and I were the tomboys of the group. We wanted the 'cool jobs'. We were on roofs, the tops of ladders, using table saws and nail guns, and taking discreet pictures of the hotties in AmeriCorps.
On the last day of working, us girls were laying down roofing tiles. We only had one nail gun, so two of us we were using hammers. Three Mormon missionaries came along to assist us. (Mind you, we had been doing this half the day already, and were getting quite good with whacking the nail in the first try). They came in and tried to take over, implying that they were more skilled as men. I remember telling them that they could hold the shingles in place for us. The boys ended up being very nice, and we had a nice discussion with them about their trip, their experiences, and how bad ass they thought we were! (wink)
It can be overwhelming at times to think of all of the injustice in the world. But we can't let it make us shut down and become apathetic. I'm no saint by any means, and have had troubles in the past spreading myself too thin. So on the other hand, we have to say 'no' sometimes.
The biggest thing I do regularly is donate blood for the American Red Cross. It's easy, quick, relatively painless, free, and it is always needed. You can save up to three lives with one pint. We started doing it in high school to get out of class, and it kind of stuck with me. (Ha ha...)
I must say, I'm truly inspired by my friends, family and people in this design community. Lisa is knitting for Afghans for Afghans, Sherry is supporting Hats for Alex. Magda was in the Peace Corps. Olivia's mom helped out at an orphanage in Africa this year. Tracy used to help children at the Middle Way House. My mom and dad set up a scholarship in my brother, Andrew's memory. There are scholarships on Design*Sponge and Ashley Goldberg's monthly charity for her "Hello" Series. Not to mention my favorite overachievers, Oprah and Angelina Jolie!
Rock on, people.