Make a Difference Day in Cleveland

By Anna Drungil on November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

        It is nearing the end of October and all of us here on Team Cleveland are getting in to the swing of things at our placements and keeping busy with our work. On Saturday, though, we set all of that aside for the day to focus on making a difference in our community. We planned two service opportunities for the day, one at the Eliza Bryant Village and the other at the Zelma George Shelter in Cleveland.

The Eliza Bryant Village is a skilled nursing facility that provides different levels of care for senior citizens with a focus on compassion and quality of care. As a team, we participated in their Saturday Social. We started the morning off by playing Pokeno (Bingo, except with playing cards), and then spent time talking with the residents over snacks and more games. This was an enjoyable experience for many reasons. It was a lot of fun to be in the midst of the excitement when somebody would call out “Pokeno!” but it was also nice just to sit and listen to people’s stories and sit in the comfort of somebody else’s presence. This experience was a reminder of how valuable the knowledge and experiences of our older generations are, and how humbling it is to be in their presence. I think this experience impacted our community because it created connections between us as a team, and all of the people that we met that day at Eliza Bryant. There is something to be said for the importance of human connection and giving each other the time to sit, listen, laugh, and just be with each other.

In the afternoon, we as a team headed over to the Zelma George Family Shelter to help facilitate the Fall Festival. We arrived and helped with the set up in the gym. This included getting pin the nose on the Jack-O-Latern hung up, setting up pumpkin bowling and getting the snack table ready with pumpkin cookies and apple cider, while getting all the craft making material out and ready to go for mask-making. With all of that preparation, nothing could have prepared us for the high energy levels of the children who came running and screaming with excitement into the gym, ready to get Fall Festival started. It was immediate controlled chaos. All of the children went running to each station, checking out all of their options with sheer excitement. After all of the children had gone through each different game, made a sparkly mask,  and snacked on their share of cookies and apple cider, the event dispersed into other games, a popular one being jump rope. The afternoon was certainly a high energy one, but it is certainly rewarding to be a part of the process of getting children to run around, care-free and laughing, while their parents get to sit back and take a break while making their own masks while enjoying the snacks. I think this service opportunity had an impact on the community by providing a fun event for the children in the shelter related to the upcoming holiday season and festivities.

Festive Halloween masks from the craft table at the Fall Festival.

Festive Halloween masks from the craft table at the Fall Festival.

Overall, this day of service was an impactful one that reinforced the importance of compassion, generosity, and recognizing that each person, old and young, has their own important story to share with the world. It was a humbling day that served as a reminder of the strength that people have to share, to love, and to survive. It was an inspiration to continue doing quality work everyday and to remember that this is about making this world a better place for everyone, in all walks of life.

 

All of us at the end of Make a Difference Day!

All of us at the end of Make a Difference Day!

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