Prescott VISTA Team Leader Lloyd Weathers shares his story about the effectiveness of a coordinated National Day of Service.
On April 7th, 2015 I was able to experience something wonderful. This was the Mayors Day of Recognition of National Service. For weeks I had been planning and coordinating with the Prescott YMCA Community Garden, Mayors, and National Service members in Yavapai County. The community garden needed volunteers for their "Big Dig" project, the purpose of which was to revitalize and clear the garden plots that had gone barren for the winter. The end result is ready-to-go plots that will be used to grow produce that the YMCA Community Garden will donate to local food banks and emergency services.
In advance of the event I went around to towns and cities in Yavapai County, picking up 7 Mayors Day Proclamations. This was very heartening because it showed me that all the work that we do as National Service members is recognized and cherished by our communities.
Everything came together swimmingly on the day of service. We had National Service members from FoodCorps, SeniorCorps, NCCC, and AmeriCorps VISTA to help out. The beds were overrun with weeds and rogue elm saplings. The garden plots were rock hard from the winter and they needed to be turned and revitalized with new compost. Needless to say there was a lot of work that needed to be done. In all we had 25 National Service members working on the project and to the surprise of the YMCA Community Garden Staff we were able to complete every project!
Have you ever watched a time-lapse video of a flower growing, a building being constructed, or morning turning into night? I had the exact same feeling as I was working on different tasks during the day. Whenever I would take a second to look around, the garden was being quickly transformed into something magnificent!
It was quite a testament to the power of teamwork. Everyone felt accomplished and satisfied after the event, especially Dave and Paula who work for the community garden and oversaw the project for us. A big thank you to Mayor of Prescott Valley Harvey Skoog who came to the event and to all of the National Service members that helped out! The crops grown from this garden will feed many people in need.