Monday, January 18, 2010

REVIEW: Volunteering on MLK Day at Osborn HS

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Life's most persistent & urgent question is- What are you doing for others?" If you follow me on Twitter or receive my weekly newsletter, you know that I stress giving back to the community. So on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I decided that my son and I would volunteer with American Express, United Way for Southeastern Michigan and City Year Detroit to beautify Osborn High School on Detroit’s eastside.

I have been looking for a good way to volunteer with my nine year old son and this project was perfect. It took place from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. which was just enough time where my son would stay interested without becoming antsy. Volunteers worked on a variety of projects that included painting and cleaning bathrooms, painting murals and lockers, cleaning stairways, and creating a study area for Osborn students.

The day started out with a pizza and salad lunch provided by the AKA Sorority. All the volunteers were addressed by Dan Mulhern (pictured above left), the husband of Governor Jennifer Granholm who also brought his son Jack (pictured above right). Although there was a power outage at the school due to a traffic accident, that did not stop the volunteers from getting right to work.

My son and I were put on mural painting for the beautification of the school. We and two other volunteers painted a 5 foot mural of a recycling bag filled with fruit. My son had a great time, especially when he "mistakenly" tossed paint on me. Painting was definitely something that brought out the kid in everyone. And since these murals were large and intricate, the process was very time consuming but worthwhile.

When our mural was nearing completion, my son and I went around to visit the other projects. The murals were all fantastic, large and very colorful. The bathrooms were sparkling clean and freshly painted, and the stairways were shining from where volunteers had cleaned them on their hands and knees!

My son and I had a great time and it was wonderful to be able to give back to the Detroit community. We both learned today that some holidays are for working and not just resting.

Click here to learn how you can volunteer with the United Way of Southwestern MI.


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