While Mission Corps hardly took the summer off, it was a little quieter with school not in session and many of you on vacation. But during that time, we’ve come up with some new ways you can help us transform our community through this platform.
We still have classrooms available for adoption. Ask anybody who has been regularly visiting these children how it feels to have them recognize you and then race to hug your neck. The teachers in these schools still can’t get over how much it helps to have the community behind them, with volunteers in teal shirts reading to their students, helping them on the playground and simply mentoring them.
We have a small number of classrooms remaining at Snipes Elementary, and several more at Dorothy B. Johnson, a pre-K where they need adults to help play with 4-year-olds on the playground. We’re also willing to expand to other schools – turns out there are kids in need everywhere! – and we have a group set to go to Alderman Elementary this year. Just let us know if and where you are interested.
We have also continued our child feeding programs through NourishNC and its MarKIDS program. We will work to increase the number of events, because when we have one now, the sign-in slots fill up almost immediately. Good problems!!
We also want to create Housing Repair Teams, if anyone is interested, and continue to explore relationships with other nonprofit volunteer opportunities.
This year, though, we want to try something new. Not everybody can take time during the week or even on the weekend to volunteer, so we’re proposing a Mission Exchange where we can trade goods and services for those in need.
Imagine a world where your extra luggage goes to foster children who move from home to home, your furniture or appliances help a struggling family stay in their home, or the clothes your preschooler has outgrown help a child’s, and their family’s, dignity in school.
(Watch for details on a Preschool Clothing Drive we plan to stage in September!!)
We will soon publish more on how the Mission Exchange can be made simple and easy. If we have stuff we don’t need, we ought to get it to people who can use it.
Another idea we are pursuing is “Mission Corps” principles for our own patients. If your clinic or unit is working with a patient in need, let’s figure out how to list those needs on our Mission Exchange and see if we can, in a way that preserves privacy and dignity, help our neighbors. This won’t require anyone to have to leave to volunteer, but brings the spirit of what we are doing right here where we work.
There’s so many other ways we can work this. The only limitation is our imagination.
School is coming back. Soon we’ll be asking you to read to the kids at Rachel Freeman Elementary again on First Friday. More of us will be actively engaged in these schools, and we’re dedicating another Habitat home on Aug. 19. The community garden at Cape Fear Heart Associates is still producing, and we have events coming up with NourishNC.
There’s more of you with skills you are willing to share. Our goal is to make it easy for you to do that. If you have something to donate, a desire to volunteer or an idea on how we can do this better, please share it with Lisa Edgerton or Scott Whisnant.