*We have limited internet access this week so the blog posts may be delayed*
The day started off with a group of 30 people willingly getting up before 9:00 AM. Doesn’t that say it all? The excitement was at an all-time high this morning! We started off the day with a little Biloxi culture, visiting the Biloxi Visiting Center. It is still apparent to this day how much Hurricane Katrina in particular has left its mark on the entire gulf coast.
Once we got back from our culture experience we got to work! Community Collaborations International houses their volunteers at a former Boy Scout’s Camp and in a few weeks they will eventually move on to a new location. This means that the camp is essentially rented out for the volunteers. With only two main staff members they needed help today getting the camp ready for the other incoming volunteers for the week. Some of us cleaned out the cabins, and eventually we all raked up leaves around the camp.
This was the perfect introduction to the workweek ahead. We got a little taste of the outdoor work we will be doing while also being able to help benefit the organization that gave us this opportunity to volunteer to work for the week.
The best part of the day (well one of them anyway)? The motivational speech we got from Steve Boisvert and Steve Lawless. Steve Lawless who has been working with us for the last few weeks reminded us of the major benefits that volunteering can have on a person’s life, of the many opportunities that can be presented when you simply “open your heart.” What a powerful message. He reminded us of all the stereotypes that can be broken down, all the stories that can be shared, and all the learning we can do if we simply listen. We have so much to learn this week and I feel so fortunate that I have this opportunity to learn. I was reminded again today of just how much this learning is something I want to do for the rest of my life and about how special the spirit is among a group of students who are excited and willing to dedicate their time to service. There is nothing more powerful than service.
Tomorrow the workweek begins. We have two different projects and we are all so excited to get started. I cannot wait to see the results of all of this spirit. We have one special group of students here!