Based on our popular Project IMPACT Summer Service Camp, Outreach is a mini-camp geared toward local youth organizations and kids that may not typically attend the full week-long camp – we bring summer service camp to them!
We partnered with the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club. which encouraged kids in grades 6 and up to sign up to participate in service adventures with us. Participation was completely voluntary, so we were pleased to see 18 kids sign up, some of them returning participants from last year (our first ever Outreach). Over 3 days, they visited 3 different local non-profits to volunteer their time, energy and skills helping others. Our theme for the week was Human Services, focusing on non-profits that help people with basic human needs.
Day 1 was Reaching Out at The Scott Senior Center. We made crafts (hand-colored folding fans perfect for the hot summer weather), weeded the garden, cleaned the patios, and most importantly made many new friends. Our participants learned that the simple gesture of getting to know the people in their community makes for a stronger community. This was the most popular day of service among our campers.
Day 2 focused on housing with Habitat For Humanity. Outreach campers shoveled and raked 18 tons of gravel rock to complete a driveway for a new house in the Victoria Place Urban Revitalization area. It was hard, hot, and sweaty work, but they did it! The kids were excited to know that one day soon, a deserving family will be living there thanks to their efforts.
After such a grueling day of service with day 2, we were pleasantly surprised to see everyone return for Day 3 which tackled the issue of hunger with Second Harvest sorting and boxing thousands of pounds of food that was collected during the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive that took place in May. Many of them remembered putting food out by their mailbox for collection. It was neat for them to be able to see what happened to that food, and how it will help many in our community.
It was a great group of kids, and we had a wonderful time with them, as they learned from HOTC how they can make a positive difference through volunteer service. We look forward to doing it again next year!
Thank you to all the donors and supporters who make programs like these possible, especially the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation; and Diamond Level Sponsors Mr. & Mrs. Clint Kadel, Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt, and The Gift Shop.