Welcome to one of several summer 2022 Project Impact Outreach recaps from our Project Impact ROI intern. Project Impact ROI is an annual program designed to engage local high-school seniors and college-age students in community service, and expand our SHOTC youth summer programming and outreach. In return, the intern gains valuable leadership experience, credit hours (if applicable), and a monetary award. Know a student (18+) who would make a great intern candidate for Project Impact ROI? Click here for information.
My name is Ella Millere, and I am the 2022 Hands On Thomas County Impact ROI intern. I graduated from Thomasville High School and am currently a rising second year at the University of Virginia studying leadership and public policy. I see this summer as an opportunity to connect with my hometown and to build lasting relationships within the community. Thanks for following along on my intern and volunteer adventures.
I’m sad to say that my summer of outreach is coming to an end. And what a great last week of volunteering it was! Although the week got off to a rocky start with weather cancellations, we finished off strong with two final projects. On Tuesday, the Boys and Girls Club and I visited Thomasville’s very own Pollinator Garden. Then, we closed out the week on Friday with Vashti at Scott Senior Center.
The Pollinator Garden is located right next to the Rose Garden at Cherokee Lake and is full of native plants that are planted in the shape of a butterfly. These plants are where many butterflies lay their eggs, and each type of butterfly only lays its eggs on a specific plant. Before volunteering, we had the incredible opportunity to learn all about pollinators and our area’s native plants from Ms. Beth Grant. Then, we got right to working hard, weeding the area, and spreading mulch all throughout the garden. It was hot, sweaty, hard work, but these kids did a great job and persevered to get it done!
For my very last summer youth project, I was lucky to be able to take one final visit to Scott Senior Center. Half a dozen boys from Vashti greeted the seniors as they came in and helped pass out coffee and breakfast. It is always a joy to see how happy young people can make the seniors, but also how much youth enjoy getting to spend time with them. This time, we played BINGO together – always a crowd favorite. We were engaged in almost every way, from calling out the Bingo numbers, to handing out prizes and helping the senior center attendees play.
As always, we were sad when it was time to leave. During our closing discussion, many of the boys shared interesting stories or things they had learned from talking to the seniors. This is always by far my favorite part of the youth volunteer projects. I love getting to hear what the youth get out of it and what parts they enjoy the most.
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors, The Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation, and all of our donors and sponsors for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.