Super 5th Day Comes to Chicago

By vulpas on May 17, 2011 in AmeriCorps

AU AmeriCorps Super Fifth DayApril 29-30, 2011 – AIDS United AmeriCorps Teams Indianapolis, Detroit, and Chicago joined forces to help out at the PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) shelter in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood as part of a Super 5th Day collaboration.  During the day on Saturday, members from the three teams worked together to clean and disinfect animal cages and “dog beds” which look like mini trampolines.

We started off by carrying the folded up cages outside, which proved to be no small feat as some of the cages were quite heavy!  Members took turns spraying the cages with disinfectant and scrubbing off the animal residue with scrub brushes.  We let the solution sit for ten minutes before spraying the cages down with a hose.  Once the cages were rinsed off and had air dried, we prepped our muscles again and brought them all back up the stairs to the PAWS storage area.

Every half an hour or so, four lucky members got to take some of the shelter dogs for a walk in the neighborhood.  Some of the canines we got to know included a funny little chihuahua wearing a sweater, a three legged lover, and a stunted pit bull who would continue looking like a puppy forever.  Needless to say, the volunteers were smitten with the puppy-pit and he even made an appearance in our group photo at the end of the day.

The type of work was new to many of the AmeriCorps members; however, working with such a large number of volunteers was truly empowering.  It was incredible to see the amount of work we accomplished with such a large group!  The experience reminded us of how important it is to come together to get things done.  It gave us the opportunity to experience the essence of community organizing.  We also enjoyed catching up with members from other teams who we hadn’t seen since the pre-service training in Santa Fe.

The staff at PAWS were pleasantly surprised by our efforts and the speed with which we accomplished the challenging tasks they gave us.  Members were unafraid to get their shoes, pants and shirts wet and dirty.  It was a fulfilling experience that should be repeated in the upcoming AIDS United AmeriCorps service years.

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