Welcome Project Impact ROI Intern!

Welcome to the very first of several summer 2020 volunteer pop-up recaps from our very first 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 SHOTC youth summer programming and outreach. In return, the intern gains valuable leadership experience, credit hours (if applicable), and a monetary stipend. Know a student (18+) who would make a great intern candidate for Project Impact ROI? Click here for application information.

My name is Elijah, and I’m the new Hands On Thomas County intern! I’ve just graduated from Thomasville High School and will be attending the University of Georgia this coming fall. I’ve worked with HOTC for many years in the past, with my church, as a member of Boy Scouts, as a camper with Student HOTC Project Impact summer service camp, and more recently as a counselor at the same Project Impact. I’ve always felt called to serve, and this opportunity is a wonderful chance for me to continue to give back to my community.

On June 16, HOTC held its first summer pop-up service project! After months of no in-person volunteer projects and the cancellation of summer service camp due to COVID-19, we started off simple to get ourselves back into the groove – installing “invisible” sidewalk art around parts of Scott Elementary School’s campus with a small group of volunteers. Utilizing a special spray, we stenciled uplifting messages that only appear after it rains. This project provides impact to our community through random acts of kindness – sometimes all it takes is a one small, kind gesture or word to change someone’s day for the better! You can find other examples of this “invisible”, motivational art at The Ritz Amphitheater, Scholars Academy, MacIntyre Park Middle School, and Thomas County Middle School.

Due to continuing COVID restrictions, our volunteer groups will be rather small as we move forward with our new summer scheduling, but the 8 people we had volunteering this Tuesday were a joy to work with for our first foray back into hands-on, in-person community service. For me, it was a welcome return to community service that has been sorely missing the past several months. Throughout high school and even before, I have spent many of my summers at volunteer projects like these, including many years of being a camper and then a counselor at SHOTC Project Impact service camp each June. I’m a service-oriented individual, and the lack of opportunities so far this summer has been a drastic change to my normal routine. I am happy to be back working for our community with members of our community. I look forward to seeing more of you, and serving more over the rest of the summer!

Project Impact summer programming is a part of Student HOTC, and combines service learning with hands-on volunteer experiences designed to get youth and adult leaders actively involved in community matters. Special thanks to Ashley Homestore, Hurst Boiler, and Ms. Diane W. Parker; as well as the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation for making volunteer programs like these possible.