AmeriCorps “Make A Difference Day” in North Carolina

By Geoff Horsfield on November 8, 2010 in AmeriCorps

Team North Carolina took a break from our placement sites and spent October 23rd, 2010, Make A Difference Day, at the Durham Rescue Mission just outside of downtown Durham, North Carolina.  The team arrived bright and early on a chilly, but gorgeous Saturday to do landscaping and gardening for the Rescue Mission that serves those homeless and in need.  After a quick orientation and a lovely brunch (featuring cake, coffee and pizza) we joined several other volunteers for a beautification project outside that took several hours to complete.  It was well worth the work, however, as we took out weeds, overgrown plants and trees and replaced them with gorgeous flowers that will have the strength to survive and prosper throughout the winter.

Half of the garden before Team North Carolina got to give it a make-over.

This experience gave the team a unique opportunity to connect on a deeper level to various other members of our beloved community.  It was an opportunity to see humanity and to work directly for a tangible goal to beautify a community building and strengthen organization that offers a safe haven for so many members of our community that need that hope more than anything.

The Team is hard at work removing some overgrown and very stubborn plants

Being able to sit down and work with other volunteers was also a blessing for Team North Carolina as we received a warm welcome from Durham Rescue Mission representative Delaner Venable and other church volunteers, high school students and North Carolina Central University volunteers.  To see their resolve helped us to rejuvenate our own and really showed the pride that other locals have for their town.  Nurturing the garden together, in turn, really helped to nurture our team’s bond with the community and with each other.  Planting flowers and uprooting weeds and dead plants was the perfect representation for what we are all striving to do in our local communities.  We hope that through our work our communities will be able to shed what is holding them down and replace it with growth, beauty and inspiration.  Ultimately, we are committed to not only making a difference for one day, but to making a difference for years by creating sustainable change and leaving a lasting legacy.

Denechia, Susan, Brittany and Geoff all posing in front of a section of the garden. We were all dirty and tired but most certainly satisfied with a hard day’s work!

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