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Sep 10, 2017
Casa Swimming Sunday September 10, 2017 Day 1

Today was my first day of volunteering for Casa Swimming. I have participated in a wide variety of different types of volunteering over my high school career, but never an activity such as swimming lessons. I was slightly apprehensive going into it, however I knew I would adapt well and enjoy my time. There was this one little boy who was about 2, it was his first experience with a pool. He had this huge personality and wanted to try everything but then in the midst of it would get scared, so I would talk him down and calm his nervous, promising I would protect him from the water. At the end of it he was extremely thrilled with himself and was telling his mom, who had been watching, all about his new experience. I have not participated in volunteering since the end of my senior year of high school. I was not expecting to feel differently but I genuinely feel like I found myself again. Volunteering has always been my sport and I took a short leave of absence just because getting ready for college and leaving everything and everyone behind took up all my time. I feel as though I am back on track with my morals and what I just enjoy doing. I am extremely thankful this class has pushed me to restart the types of activities that truly are a part of me even within my busy schedule. I no longer feel over whelmed with my business but I feel calmed. I had a shock back to reality.

Posted at 11:15 am by gabiscolpino
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Dec 10, 2016
Campus Kitchen Day 8

So today was my last volunteer shift at the kitchen for the semester! We made a meal for the english class that takes place in Glat just like last week. Today it was mac and cheese that we actually put crushed cheez-its on top as a sort of topping which was interesting because I had never seen that before. Then we made some brownies and cooked them in a cupcake sheet pan which was weird but still worked. Then we packed the bags for the families again, except this time we had lots of food to use. Because it is the end of the year we are trying to get rid of a lot of the donations we have so the bags were very full. In some they were overflowing and we had to use another bag which was very good actually knowing that these families would be very appreciative to see how much they were going to get. The whole second half we spend slicing tomatoes actually. We made a tomato and onion salad for the meal and then we sliced the rest of the tomatoes and made it into a sauce just to do something with the rest instead of put them back in half empty. I did the dishes again which I usually end up doing but I don't mind. We had to deliver the food this time so I had to help carry the huge bag into glat which was very heavy but luckily it wasn't that far of a walk from the parking lot. I actually dropped it into the room and two of my friends were there helping out in the class so it was fun to see them and definitely a surprise. I worked with the same two girls that I have been working with a lot in the past so we kinda close by now. Both are seniors and one is actually graduating early so this is her last week. We talked a lot the whole time and it made it go by really fast. Overall I am pretty sad that it is ending, it is so convenient and such a good cause that I definitely foresee myself continuing next semester when I can.

Posted at 02:53 pm by Julia Soares
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Dec 8, 2016
BBBS - Week 2

This past Tuesday, I had my last BBBS meeting until after break. When we meet we filled out paper work about ourselves, answering questions like what our favorite foods were, what we wanted to be when we were older, things like that. One question said, what makes you happy and Beyonce answered "olliia" There was another question that said if you had one wish what would it be, and Beyonce answered again with "olliia" I asked her what that word was and she said "Olivia! I spelled it wrong" It was the sweetest thing I have heard in a long time. It warmed my heart that on our 2nd week together she already liked me and looked forward to seeing me. After we learned a little more about one another we made crafts to take home and then we opened gifts that they all got (she got a Girl Scout Barbie Doll) and then we ate food! I learn more about her each time we meet, she is very comfortable with me which I love and I cannot wait to see what else I learn throughout the rest of the year. I am very lucky I was accepted into this program and got matched so well.

Posted at 06:25 pm by livmacdonald
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Sherfy Garden Week 8

The next and last time I went to the Sherfy Garden was on November 15th. I have to say that this was one of my favorite times. Who knew I would have enjoyed harvesting pea plants as much as I did. So, pretty much, I had to wipe all of the pea plant vines from the metal cages it was growing on. After I got the vines off of the cages, I had to pick the individual beans and put them in a basket. This day was extremely freezing, and my fingers felt like they were going to fall off, but I got the job done. In the end, I picked enough beans to fill up four large baskets worth. Then we went and checked on the brussels sprouts. These sprouts were still not ready to harvest, and probably will not be this entire season. This is a shame because since they were planted, they took up soil that we could have used on plants that actually gave us produce. I guess this was a good learning experience though, and will lead to a successful future in knowing what NOT to grow. We then left and took the beans to S.C.C.A.P., which appreciated them greatly. Me and Jolene went our separate ways for the season, but I know I will be back. I truly enjoyed gardening in this garden with Jolene. I liked getting my hands dirty and feeling like I made an impact in my community. I also liked building a trusting relationship with Jolene. She is truly an inspiration, and has been an amazing mentor over the course of the last couple of months. I am so fortunate for having this opportunity, and highly recommend the Sherfy Garden as a place to volunteer.

Posted at 03:30 pm by Francescagar1
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Sherfy Garden Week 7

The next time I went was on November 8th. This time, me and Jolene went with the sole intention of picking the brussels sprouts. Throughout the entire time I had been there, these sprouts did not give off a single harvest. The bulbs were tiny and just did not have enough "meat" on them to eat. When we arrived to the garden, they were still not ready. This was kind of discouraging, but we looked it up and found that brussels sprouts are normally harvested during the first frost, which had not come yet. Another reason we realized that they were not ready yet was because we found out too late that we had to cut all of the leaves around the actual sprouts for maximum growth. With that said, we decided to leave them for one more week. Instead, we decided to pick as many spices and herbs we could. We harvested cilantro, lemon balm, oregano, mint, thyme, and basil. Even though we went there with a specific goal in mind that we could not complete, we were very productive.

Posted at 03:20 pm by Francescagar1
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Sherfy Garden Week 6

I went again to the Sherfy Garden on November 1st. This time, we had to do the same thing we did with the tomatoes, with the peppers. I was kind of partial to all of the peppers in the garden so this made me kind of upset. I had picked so many peppers the entire time I was there, so I felt kind of bad pulling out the entire plants. Another volunteer named Barbara was there when me and Jolene arrived at the garden. This was great because we had a lot of hard work to do. As I pulled out the entire pepper bushes from the roots and entire stakes from the ground, Barbara would find all of the remaining peppers still on the bush. In fact, when Barbara did this, there were a lot of peppers left, hiding with the leaves. While we did this, Jolene got hay from the barn and put it around the bases of plants that were not ready to be taken up for the season. This included the brussels sprouts as well as spices and herbs. This took a while, but when we finally finished Jolene asked if I would like to go on a small hike on the battlefield. We went and she gave me a mini tour of all of the important landmarks. In all, I had an amazing day filled with hard work as well as friendship.

Posted at 03:12 pm by Francescagar1
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Sherfy Garden Week 5

The next time I went to the Sherfy Garden was on October 27. Today was an overcast day with a little bit of rain at times. It was starting to get chilly too, so our work for the day was to start and get the plants completely harvested, and pull the roots out of the ground. This would be done over the course of the next couple of weeks, but that first day we made a good start. I started with the tomatoes. We picked all of the rest of the tomatoes off of the plants, which was a lot. When all of the tomatoes were off, we had to pull the entire plant out from the ground from the roots, and that was my job because I was the youngest one there. I have to admit, it was a very strenuous process, but what I had to do next was even harder and more tiring. I had to pull all of the stakes out of the ground that were supporting the tomato plants. This was hard because when your fingers are cold and you are trying to pull these slabs of either metal or wood out of the ground, they tend to get stuck. In all, I went home that day exhausted with blisters on my fingers. And I was totally okay with that because putting in manual, physical labor really makes me feel like I am making a difference.

Posted at 03:05 pm by Francescagar1
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Sherfy Garden Week 4

The next time I went to Sherfy Garden was on October 20. Jolene picked me up from the usual spot and we began our drive, talking all the way. Jolene was extremely excited today because today was the day to harvest the kohlrabi. One of the reasons we grow and harvest kohlrabi is for Jolene. Normally all of our produce goes straight to the Campus Kitchen or S.C.C.A.P., but they had no use for this vegetable. So what Jolene did was found a delicious recipe for the vegetable and decided to host a picnic for all of the volunteers. Unfortunately, I could not make this picnic because or a prior commitment, but that did not stop Jolene from bringing me her special kohlrabi salad. I got a message from Jolene saying she was outside my dorm. I came down to find her, her husband, a huge container of this salad, and a beautiful Christmas ornament with the Sherfy Garden on it. This action towards me shows how caring and giving Jolene is, and the positive environment in which I do my service in.

Posted at 02:55 pm by Francescagar1
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Dec 7, 2016
Sherfy Garden Week 3

The third time I went was on October 4th. When me and Jolene drove to the garden today, she invited me to go on a short hike at the battlefields later that week. Of course I accepted this invitation and looked forward to going on a hike. When we got to the garden, again we walked around looking at what needed to be done. And again, the peppers were ready harvest. For a full hour, I harvested the most amount of peppers. Again, they were jalapenos, banana peppers, and bell peppers. After I was finished, Jolene decided to take me to place where the peppers go. We drove to the campus kitchen, and asked them if they wanted any of the peppers. The staff there said no, so instead we took them right next door to S.C.C.A.P., which had a free farmers market for those people less fortunate. When we told them what we had, the workers were so excited because all of the people who get food kept asking about our peppers. It was great to feel like our harvest was being used in a positive way for our community. It is amazing to see the difference we are making. It was a bunch of fun!

Posted at 07:25 pm by Francescagar1
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Sherfy Garden Week 2

The second time I went to the Sherfy garden was on September 27. This time, Jolene picked me up outside of my dorm because she now knew where it was. This time, as we drove, we continued to fill in each other about out lives. I really enjoy talking to Jolene because she is so compassionate and a great listener. She makes me feel comfortable to be around her, despite knowing her for such a short amount of time. When we got to the garden, it was time to do a survey of what was ready to pick. As we walked around, another volunteer named John showed up. John only came when it was time to weed-whack anything, because that was his favorite job. While walking around for the second time, I started to recognize the produce Sherfy farm was growing. There were green tomatoes, a plethora of peppers, many different herbs and spices, berries, kohlrabi, lettuce, brussels sprouts, beets, and a few other vegetables. While walking over to the sunflower plants, I found a massive praying mantis eating an ant. It was so fascinating. Later, I pulled out most of the beets, and cut off the greens on the top that were not supposed to be eaten. In the end, my second visit to the Sherfy garden was great!

Posted at 06:19 pm by Francescagar1
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