On Wednesday, August 8th, our givers and grinners walked into Corpus for the last time this summer; it was our official last day of Give and Grin! Volunteers went to Sharing and Caring Hands, the St. Anthony Park Nursing Home to play bingo and put on a talent show, and the Giving Garden out back. In the afternoon we went to ValleyFair from 1 till 8:00 PM! Read more to hear all about our day.
Going through the motions of a very familiar routine for the last time, the volunteers eventually sat all in a circle so we could start our morning run down and prayer. After going over the Corporal Works of Mercy (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A35-37&version=NIV), and where the various volunteer opportunities were today, we went our separate ways and began lending a helping hand. Some kids stayed back in the Giving Garden, some practiced their talent and bingo skills for the Nursing Home, and some went to Sharing and Caring Hands.
The group that went to Sharing and Caring Hands (https://sharingandcaringhands.org/) helped serve meals for the morning. While sharing a friendly smile, they got to know some of the people there who were staying at the shelter. One mom and two daughters were moving into their first house that day and were so excited and thankful for all Sharing and Caring Hands has done for them; it was amazing to see all the positive change they make in people’s lives! They also got to meet the woman in charge, Mary Jo, and hear her stories. After a morning of service and smiles, they headed back to Corpus for lunch.
The group that went to the St. Anthony Park Nursing Home (http://www.stanthonyparkhome.com/) got to play bingo with the residents there and put on a talent show for them! Some of our kids called the bingo numbers, and some helped the participants play. Winners would collect 10 cents, and some of the residents there were very set on winning the 10 cents; it made some of the kids laugh. After playing bingo, they got ready to present some of their best talents, including a group sing along (to which some of the residents sang along with smiles on their faces), and one of our youth playing their violin! It was a beautiful morning, but eventually, it was time to head back to Corpus for lunch.
The group that stayed back in the Giving Garden had a very busy morning; harvesting, planting, washing vegetables, watering, and more! Not many veggies were left behind; late summer harvest is in full swing. It was a rather sunny morning, but the gardeners were well equipped with sunscreen! After harvesting about 313 pounds of veggies, they headed down to the Keystone Community Food Shelf (http://keystoneservices.org/food-shelves/) where they learned that Corpus alone had donated 2,013 pounds of vegetables this summer! That’s the most we’ve ever donated! Due for a celebration, they headed back to Corpus to eat lunch and share the good news. See photos below.
During lunch, our volunteers shared about their various experiences and what they had learned that day. After sharing, Liz shared a video about immigration. A boarder patrol officer spends 30 days with an illegally immigrated family, to see their side of life and try and understand them. It was very eye opening to see how close-minded people can be, and both the kids and adults really enjoyed the video. You can find it here: https://vimeo.com/59075164 After lunch, the kids and adults piled onto a bus and headed down to ValleyFair for the rest of the afternoon and evening (https://www.valleyfair.com/)! They went on rides, ate great food, shared many laughs, and had a fun yet exhausting time. At around 7:30 PM, it was time to get back on the bus and head back to Corpus for parent pick up. See photos below.
This 2018 year of Give and Grin has been one for the books. Our new Give and Grin coordinator Liz Russell really stepped up to the plate and organized both a fun and educational program for kids and adults alike! Everyone who came, even if just for a day, walked in and out with a smile on their face, knowing that they had made a difference in the lives of others. Give and Grin helps our youth building friendships, a sense of purpose, and an understanding of the importance of service. If you are thinking of joining Give and Grin for next summer, give it a try! You are more than welcome here. Contact Liz Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!