We are living through a pandemic. Someday I am going to look back and question if I did enough.
To be clear, no, almost certainly, no I have not and will not do enough. But I did want to push myself to gather what I have done. Perhaps it might be good for each of us to challenge ourselves on what more we could be doing in this strange war-time.
Asked to do a ‘Pay it Forward’ project in which we committed some volunteer time to a neighborhood in Philadelphia that none of our team members lived, worked or already volunteered in, we ended up cleaning, mulching, picking up trash and other work in Fairhill Square Park near Kensington ahead of a rededication for a beautiful piece of art.
I asked a friend at the city’s Parks and Rec department, who put me in touch with another staffer who directed me to a community leader who had been organizing a friends group for the newly updated park. Some of my teammates and I went to one of their community meetings, then helped with the park’s clean up day and then were a part of the park’s big art re-dedication yesterday, complete with more than 100 kids from various youth groups.
If you’re registered in Philadelphia and need to know where you’re voting, using the Committee of Seventy’s Citizen Access Center. Oh, and if you’re an Independent or Republican and feeling bummed out ’cause everyone is talking Obama/Hillary, fear not, in Philadelphia, there are also two ballot questions that mean a whole lot to some people. Want a real explanation of what to do?
I went to New Orleans with Common Ground to offer some post-Hurricane Katrina support. Mostly, I stayed with a hundred other volunteers on cots in a high school gymnasium and worked in small teams to salvage homes in the Ninth Ward.
I was driven to provide some service, having worked in a shelter in Philadelphia of victims.