• Thanks for the help
    February 02,2013

    Thanks for the help

    I want to thank all of the folks who participated in and contributed to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and National Day of Service in Barre.

    Twelve AmeriCorps and A*VISTA members serving in Washington County hosted the community event on Monday, Jan. 21. The day began with service projects benefitting several local nonprofit organizations, followed by a community lunch, documentary viewing, and poetry workshop.

    Forty-three community volunteers joined the AmeriCorps members and spent the morning completing projects at the Good Samaritan Haven, Central Vermont Community Action Council Food Shelf, ReStore, Vermont Foodbank, and Aldrich Library. It was inspiring to see volunteers of all ages—adults, children, and teens— turn out to support their community. After a productive morning, 63 community members, including the volunteers, met at the Aldrich Library for a hearty lunch made possible with generous contributions from Bagitos Bagel and Burrito Café, Basil’s Pizzeria, Domino’s Pizza, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Mister Z’s Pizza, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, Red Hen Bakery, Rubber Bubbles, Shaw’s Supermarket, Smokehouse Deli, Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, and Vermont Youth Tomorrow A*VISTA Program.

    During lunch, participants watched “Louder Than a Bomb,” a powerful documentary following four Chicago youth competing in a slam poetry competition. The movie illustrates what youth can do when they have the space, motivation, and peer and adult support to express themselves. After the film Geoff Hewitt, Vermont’s Slam Poet Laureate, led participants in writing workshop. Mr. Hewitt said, “I think we all enjoyed Louder Than a Bomb, which shows that poetry and spirit, humor and pathos, deserve verbal expression, and young people often say it best.”

    The day’s success is measured by the volunteers’ accomplishments (painting, organizing, sorting, and building), the donors’ generosity, the AmeriCorps and A*VISTA members’ participation (planning and leading projects; cooking the meal), as well as the community spirit and good will of all. I want to extend a very big thank you for all who participated and contributed.

    Cara Melbourne


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