Quote of the Month...

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~ Mother Teresa

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cesar Chavez Day of Service

The day of service that the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholars have been planning for the past few months was this past Saturday, March 24, 2012.

Volunteers for Cesar Chavez Day of Service planted 66 fruit trees at Indy Urban Acres.

Tyler Gough, the director of IUA, was pleased with all the work that was accomplished and the heart of service volunteers showed.

"It was fantastic, unbelievable," he said, "It was super muddy out there and everyone was great and more than willing to work in the mud."

Because of rain on Friday the holes volunteers were digging would fill with water. That didn't stop them, in fact some volunteers said they enjoyed the challenge.

"I knew it (the service day) was going to be good, but I didn't think it was going to be that good," Gough said.

He said he appreciated the individuals that expressed an interest in serving during the summer, and he looks forward to meeting many more volunteers from IUPUI.

You can follow this link to Fox 59 website: Fox59 News at Indy Urban Acres

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leaders in Service: Ben Spandau

We had a Q&A session with one of the service leaders at IUPUI.  Ben Spandau, along with two other leaders researched and presented on the issue of domestic violence.

Ben Spandau

Q: What made you three decide to cover domestic violence?
A: We really decided which issue to cover by choosing which month worked best with each of us and were assigned an issue.  The choice was really not much of a story but I have taken this opportunity to learn more about the social issue of Domestic Violence.  

Q: What organization are you serving at that helps those suffering from domestic violence?
A: I worked with the Salvation Army's Shelter for victims of domestic violence.  We helped paint, clean, and build storage shelving for their children's play room.

This service helps the children who have been affected by domestic violence to have somewhere safe and clean that they can play and receive educational life lessons.  This allows the family to either seek therapy for their issues or time for the mother to find ways of keeping her and her children safe and self-sufficient.

We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot about how the Salvation Army helps those who have experienced domestic violence.  I encourage everyone to volunteer at the Salvation Army shelter to further their knowledge to this important social issue.

Q: What can you do, as an individual, to help with this issue?
A: The first thing that you can do is to educate yourself on the social issue of domestic violence.  Knowledge is power when it comes to this issue.  Most people who are in an abusive relationship and experience domestic violence do not accept or see that they are.  Others are unable to escape the abusive relationship that they are in.  

Being knowledgeable of the issue allows you to identify the action or symptoms and effectively guide those in need.  The other thing that I would encourage someone to do to get involved is to volunteer at local domestic violence shelters such as the Salvation Army or Julian Center.  They are always in need of volunteers doing anything from painting a wall to playing with kids or even just stuffing envelopes.

Just remember, no matter how small or insignificant your service may feel like, you are changing someone's life.

Q: Any other comments or experiences you want to share about this issue?
A: I understand that finding the bright side to this issue is a hard thing to find.  Domestic violence is a very hard issue to take in because it is very depressing and hard to see.  We must take it head on though or it will continue in greater proportions.  

No matter how hard something is, we must strive to make this world better for everyone who is in need of our help.  Our luxury is our ability to help others to attain those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Last month we celebrated National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Tables were set up with Kindness Challenge Cards. We designed and printed entire decks of cards with ideas for being kind. Each suit represented a different category and the challenges grew progressively harder to do as the rank of the card increased. A few examples are listed below:

Clubs: People you know
2 – Send a compliment someone’s way
A – Call a mentor to say thank you

Hearts:  For those Unknown
2 – Smile and say hello to a passing stranger
A – Sign up for the bone marrow registry (more information at www.marrow.org)

Spades: For our Community & World
2 – Pick up a piece of trash on the ground and throw it away
A - Start a piggy bank for a cause that’s important to you and donate it to them once it is full

Diamonds: For yourself
2 – Be spontaneous for the day
A – Stop negative self-talk: “I’m not good enough, too fat, not qualified, etc.”

We also did a Flash Mob of Kindness

We gave a bouquet of flowers to three random people.
We gave one flower at a time, until they had a full bouquet.

Here are the marvelous volunteers for the Flash Mob of Kindness

One recipient of the bouquet of flowers gave us a great reaction.

We will be posting videos of our Flash Mob of Kindness later. Keep a look out for it.