It has been too long since I’ve written. Today definitely seems a worthy day to break radio silence.
Today was the last day of my first term as an AmeriCorps member. I could probably spew some junk about how meaningful it has been, how much I have learned, the people I have met. I think I would rather share some photos and let them do the talking for me.
It has been a LONG week and now… I’m sick! Cough, cough and sniffle sniffle. I think my body has finally given up on trying to keep up! Luckily, I am back in WA state with a bit of time to recover, step back, and reflect on the past week.
Last week, I was one of 65 AmeriCorps memebers serving with Rebuilding Together’s CapacityCorps to meet in Oklahoma City. We worked on 9 homes of low-income homeowners in the CEC Triangle of OKC. It was an amazing way to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and I believe the work that CapacityCorps members do and who we are is a testament to the doctor’s legacy.
One of the many moments I will always remember from MLK work week was eaves dropping on two of my fellow team members as they talked about what life was like to live in a segregated world- before the equality movements of the 1960’s. It was a totally random moment that put everything in perspective. Being 25 and of Japanese ancestry, I have never experienced discrimination of that magnitude, but I have living relatives who have. I cannot help but have an immense amount of respect and admiration for those in previous generations who have shouldered the burden of and taken up arms against social injustice. The world I live in is a much better place not only thanks to the civil rights leaders… but also to the people who lived in an unequal world and took action along with them.
I am proud of who I am and I am thankful for all those who have come before me that have allowed me to feel as such.
Our world is not a perfect world and I have a tendency to over criticize “the way things are”, but just being present for MLK work week gave me a sense of hope. When you look at what an AmeriCorps members is… there is no singular demographic. We all come from around the country, with various ethnic backgrounds, of varied religious and political beliefs. The only commonality is that we believe in giving back and bettering the communities we live in.
I am beyond proud to be a part of this group and this generation. I am proud to know that there are still groups of people who believe in a better world and actively seek ways to make it happen!
Link to some of the news coverage we got in OKC: http://kfor.com/2013/01/21/service-day-rebuilding-together-honors-mlk/
Article from The Suburban Times
Free home repairs for low-income homeowners
By Lindsay Shigetomi, Rebuilding Together South Sound
TACOMA, WA – Free home repairs are available for qualified low-income homeowners through local non-profit Rebuilding Together South Sound. Rebuilding Together South Sound, an affiliate of Rebuilding Together Inc., plans to complete 15 critical home repair projects with the help of hundreds of volunteers on National Rebuilding Day 2013. National Rebuilding Day is a major volunteer work day taking place on April 27th, 2013. Volunteers, local sponsors and community partners will work together with low-income homeowners to complete critical home repair projects that will keep occupants warm, safe and dry.
Applications for Rebuilding Day 2013 are now available and Rebuilding Together South Sound is seeking qualified homeowners. In order to be eligible for services, an applicant must 1) own their home, 2) be low-income, 3) be elderly, a person with a disability, or a family with children, and 4) live in Pierce County, Federal Way or Auburn. Applications for Rebuilding Day 2013 are due Saturday, December 1st, 2012.
Many local families have struggled in recent years to provide for their basic necessities. The economic downturn and personal crises have challenged many individuals. For low-income families, necessary home repairs and modifications often go unattended because of a lack of resources. Rebuilding Together South Sound exists to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy home, regardless of income. The organization is working to preserve the affordable housing stock in the South Sound, and promote aging in place by keeping people in their homes as long as possible.
National Rebuilding Day is the foundational event of Rebuilding Together Inc., the nation’s leading volunteer home repair organization. The organization is based on the idea of bringing families and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. This effort culminates on National Rebuilding Day, where thousands of volunteers help their neighbors in need. 200 affiliates of Rebuilding Together Inc. across the country participate in National Rebuilding Day, cumulatively repairing 4,000 homes nation-wide.
Rebuilding Together South Sound encourages all community members to help spread the word about the services that are available to anyone who might qualify. To request an application or learn more, please call Rebuilding Together South Sound at 253-238-0977 or visit the website www.rebuildingtogetherss.org.
About Rebuilding Together South Sound: Rebuilding Together South Sound was founded in 2001 in response to the growing need for help in the Pierce County area where 44% of the homeowners are low-income. Their mission is to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners – particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children. Major home repairs are completed by volunteer teams on National Rebuilding Day, an annual work day in April. Home modifications, changes that increase the accessibility of the home, are completed throughout the year. With volunteer and in-kind support the community provides, each dollar raised provides a minimum of $4 worth of work for recipients. This year Rebuilding Together South Sound plans to complete a total of 50 projects.