We made it over the hump, and on to probably our most challenging day thanks to the heat, humidity, and being outdoors most of the day. For Thursday’s theme – Historic Preservation, we teamed with Thomasville Landmarks to volunteer at project sites reflecting our community’s past, and reflected on how our past can shape our future.
We began our morning at B’nai Hebrew Cemetery which was established in 1909, and is listed (jointly with the B’nai Israel Synagogue) on the National Register of Historic Places. This small, private, and little-known burial ground is tended completely by volunteers, so groups of all sorts are welcome to come and lend a hand throughout the year. After a brief history of the Jewish community in Thomasville, we focused our energies on showing our respect for the represented families by clearing brush, trimming shrubs, pulling weeds, cutting back vines, raking leaves, and cleaning headstones. It was difficult and sweaty work, but we were proud to leave it much improved.
After lunch, we met at the Thomasville Amphitheater to learn about our historic downtown. With sketches of architectural details, brooms, trash bags, and gum scrapers in hand, we divided up into teams for a combined Downtown Sweep & Architectural Scavenger Hunt along Broad, Madison and Jackson Streets. Our main goal was to let our downtown businesses know how much we appreciate them, and show some volunteer love by sweeping their storefronts and picking up litter. Along the way, we also managed to identify some architectural terms and unique details such as dentils, fan lights, and pediments.
As lightning cut short our Sweep, we headed back to safety, and with the remaining time, each team created their own non-profit organization: name, mission, clients served, and why they deserved support. From the Yellowbird Foundation which focused on animal conservation to the Cheap Child Organization which provides free childcare to working families in need, we were impressed with their thoughtfulness and creativity. Our future is in good hands!