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.
After a busy first week of outreach, I was excited to get back into it with two more service projects this week. Going with a theme of senior outreach, I took two youth groups to two different facilities that serve seniors in our community: Scott Senior Center and Legacy Village.
To start the week, I accompanied the girl’s cottage at Vashti to Scott Senior Center. We created Smile Cards for the seniors, with inspirational messages or just a little joke to make them smile. When we got there, the volunteers greeted seniors at their tables and helped pass out donuts and coffee.
Next, we assisted the seniors with making memory collages. Memory collages are an easy craft project for all ages that includes choosing a theme, whether it be a place you love, an activity you do in your free time, or a memory, and cutting out images or words from magazines that match the theme to paste on a collage together. This activity allows seniors to think of what truly makes them happy, and the cutting and gluing also helps them keep their fine motor skills in practice.
This youth organization loved volunteering at Scott Senior Center so much that several of the girls asked if they could come back and volunteer on a regular basis! I was also happy to have another HOTC intern, Miyah, along with me on this project!
The next day, I took students from the Boys and Girls Club to Legacy Village, a residential senior living facility that loves to schedule many events and activities for its residents. We were excited to be added to their schedule!
Just like Vashti had done with Scott Senior Center, we made memory collages with Legacy residents. We found out that both the residents and the Boys and Girls Club LOVE food, as almost all of them made collages with a food theme.
Because we had a small group at Legacy, the volunteers had a great chance to chat individually with each of the residents in attendance. The kids enjoyed hearing residents’ stories about their lives, especially ones about what they love to cook and their time in the military.
I love getting to spend time talking to and serving seniors, so I’m glad many of the volunteers from this week now love it too!
This internship has been full of fulfilling experiences so far, but my favorite is the relationships I have built with so many volunteers and those that we serve. Many of the kids have volunteered at more than one outreach project already, and I love how we’ve gotten to know each other over these first few weeks.
I can’t wait for next week’s projects! (Hint: we’re helping those with more than two legs!!)
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.