Uniting America at Spanish Community Center-Joliet
MLK day turned into a great day! I was able to get 17 volunteers to come help us today, some from local schools and some were just local kids who wanted to volunteer for MLK day. The moment everyone got here, they jumped right in and were ready for me to tell them what to do. They started cleaning the room that we needed, some started painting, and others started fixing computers that we needed for the children. We all were working together at an excited pace.
An hour into our day we got a very big surprise when 3 local politicians that I had invited to be a part of what we were doing for MLK day stopped by, Joliet's Mayor Tom Giarrante, Will County Executive Larry Walsh, and Councilman Michael Turk, all came to visit. They were given a tour and saw everything that we were doing at the Center. It was our Mayor’s first time coming here so it was a big deal for all of us. He discussed helping us with more food and monetary donations for our food pantry.
The people that came and helped were all amazing and so helpful; we were able to put together 3 new computers and organized our entire school storage room. We also had 2 rooms that were painted and cleaned. We made a little food and had some refreshments for the volunteers; no one wanted to stop working for the snack everyone came ready to work all day!
Overall everything was amazing for MLK day. Having so many volunteers here and also bringing out local politicians was a great way for us to get community members and leaders together through volunteerism, which is exactly what Dr. King worked and Uniting America works towards.
My first week at the Joliet Spanish Community Center has been quite exciting. I am a resident of Joliet, so I am very excited to start helping within my community. Thanks to the Community Center staff I feel very much at home and motivated to get right to work! I have started recruiting volunteers for various educational resource programs the Spanish Community Center offers. I have been contacting local colleges, churches, and businesses for volunteers. I was also able to put up a posting in my churches bulletin for volunteer opportunities.
Last night I took a trip out to Naperville for a volunteer recruiting event, it was a last minute event I found online, I wasn’t very prepared, it is sort of far from Joliet, but I thought I would go and try it out. I ended up meeting and talking with a lot of people. Many said Joliet was too far to commute, but still listened to what I had to say. I signed-up four people for volunteering, and one person just wants to donate money to the organization.
I was sort of nervous at first, because I was by myself and not completely ready to do a lot of talking on my own, but I did very well and was pleased the results. Last night made me gain some more confidence in explaining what I do and how to bring people in. It definitely gave me a little rush to get people signed-up. I can’t wait to get out more and find volunteers!