20 May 2008

It's Primary Day!

Hello Friends!

Today is May 20th and if you haven't heard, it's Primary Day in Oregon. If you are in town, then you know it is hard not to trip over a candidate (or a former President!) On Sunday, I had the pleasure of volunteering with Bill and Chelsea Clinton at the I Have A Dream Foundation in Portland. I have to say, just knowing that the Hillary campaign wanted to volunteer in our community made me happy. I think service is important and so do they... here are his comments .

I wanted to participate in the project because Bill Clinton was the President who signed the National Service Bill establishing him as the "Father of AmeriCorps". I was in AmeriCorps when Bill (now I can call him that because we are tight!) was President. When he walked up and shook my hand, the only thing I could say was, "we are all current or former AmeriCorps Members and we thank you for the experience." I think he said "Yea, I gathered that." There you have it... my first encounter with a President!

I am glad that Bill didn't ask who I was voting for or what I had planned that afternoon, because from there I went to the Obama rally in Portland. Over 75,000 Portlanders turned out to hear Obama speak. Now if we could just get him to volunteer!

11 May 2008

Cares Day is my favorite day.

Hands On Greater Portland's Cares Day is one of my favorite days of the whole year. I told a few people that I like Cares Day better than my birthday and was greeted with some confusion. I mean it… I LOVE Cares Day.

SO… Cares Day is a big day of service put on by Hands On Greater Portland. This year there were 13 or so sites and somewhere around 1,300 volunteers spread to those sites. I was a Site Captain at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School in Oregon City. In a matter of hours, about 60 employees from Comcast painted the gym, painted a computer lab, spread truckloads of mulch over the grounds, and spread bark chips over the playground. The transformation was amazing. I love it when people come together and are focused on making a difference. I will post pictures when I get them.

Where’d she go?

Not far! It’s been a busy couple of weeks! Work has taken over as of late, but the volunteering is still a goin’… I just haven’t had much time to write. The last couple of weeks have included all of my regular favorites.

A few highlights…
- Hands On Greater Portland CARES Day (more on that in a minute!)
- Tabling for Hands On Greater Portland. It is so fun to talk about Hands On.
- SMART reading. This most recent week I worked with a kindergartner who did cartwheels down the hall on the way to the SMART room. Next week is the last week before summer break.
- AKA Science – weeks 3 and 4 included discussion of earthquakes and tornadoes. Now when I ask what causes certain types of weather… the answer tends to be “the combination of hot and cold air.” We continue to start each class with running or walking around the school to expend energy. I joined them in a race one week.. I don’t think they knew what to think when they found out I can actually run as fast as they can.
- AmeriCorps Alums Leadership Council – we are gearing up for a national conference on volunteering in Atlanta at the end of the month. We have talked about wearing superhero capes to stand out in the conference of 4-5,000 attendees. Whatever it takes to stand out.
- Oregon Commission on Service meeting – Friday’s meeting was in Albany, OR. 4 new Commissioners add great energy to the mix.

Total Volunteer Hours as of 5/11/08: 115.75
3 months into the adventure.