The Chronicles of a Summit Service Project

The Chronicles of a Summit Service Project

Monday, September 30, 2013

First Impressions

On September 4, four people set out on a mission: to aid a local not-for-profit dedicated to providing a safe place for women and children.  We have plans in the future to do fundraisers and item drives, but in the mean time, we needed to see what we were working with.  At the shelter itself, they needed help mainly cleaning, and serving meals.  That day, we wouldn't be there long enough to serve dinner, so we scrubbed away.  We split up, Kelsey and Karen went to clean the children's room, and Bridget and I scrubbed walls in the living areas. 
In Karen's words:
"The first day we worked at Harmony House, Kelsey and I cleaned in a children's play room. It looked like it really needed it. We sanitized the toys and scrubbed the walls. While we were cleaning some kids came in to watch tv. They started talking to us and asked if we would have any time to spend with them. They expressed an interest in arts, and performing. We are trying to figure out a way to incorporate this into our projects and find useful ways to spend time with these kids while utilizing our skills."
Kelsey taking out the trash

From Kelsey:
"We knew we wanted to work with Harmony House when we started this project but decided to start with some general work and cleaning in order to get a feel for the organization. After speaking with the kids I realized that this project could be well spent with them. I talked to them about performance and even showed them a few things I was learning in ballet. They appeared very interested and since then I've talked to several theatre/education majors for advice on how to launch an artistic project with the children. I truly think this could be a great experience for both our group and the children at Harmony House."
Bridget and I scrubbed walls in the main hallway, sanitized railings, and mopped the dining area.  Cleaning is never fun, but we could see how this was a necessary chore.  The women live there, so a dingy hallway never really brightened anyone's day.  We didn't get to socialize as much as Kelsey and Karen did, but we did get to chat and joke as we swept up the remnants of lunch.
Our attempt at fixing a broken mop

Bridget's ideas on future endeavors with Harmony House:
"I think we should do a fundraiser of some sort for the house.  These women and children have barely anything.  When asked what they would like donated to the house, they simply asked for personal hygiene products (i.e. shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc)."
Our first encounter with Harmony House gave us a better idea of how to serve that community.  Now we know what we are dealing with, and how we can help.

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