Whenever I get a day out of the office, it’s generally only because I’m spending time in other people’s offices for meetings. When the opportunity arose to do some good old-fashioned manual labor outside of the office—with the special bonus of helping others—I jumped at the chance.
On April 25, I was lucky enough to be one of 18 City of Dubuque employees taking part in the 2014 Days of Caring. In the morning, my team hauled mulch (LOTS of it!) around the Hillcrest Family Services campus and in the afternoon, I hauled bags of dirt and manure to community members who wanted to plant wading pool gardens.
I thoroughly enjoyed a hard day’s work. With the help of Ibuprofen, the body aches disappeared after a few days. Likewise, the bright red mulch will fade over the summer and the gardens will wither in the fall. So what impact came from that day of hard work?
What remain are the memories of teamwork, many laughs, and helping out people in my community. I had the chance to chat with some of the kids at Hillcrest. They shared their stories of personal success and a shy girl gave me a toothy grin. I heard an excited mother tell us how the wading pool garden was going to be a summer-long project for her and her kids to bond and to grow healthy food. In short, I got an extra chance to make a positive impact in the lives of strangers. Will they remember me? Maybe not, but it doesn’t matter because I will remember the day.
Days of Caring will be back in 2015 and so will I. How about you?