VIRGINIA – As part of Soroptimist International of Virginia’s good work on behalf of women and girls, they have their “Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls” program which helps girls grow up to be strong, successful and happy adults. The program not only provides secondary school girls with access to professional role models, career education and the resources to live their dreams, but also requires they donate some of their time and talent to the community.
The Virginia club’s girls selected North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity (NSLCHFH) as the venue for their service learning opportunity. Two of the “Dream It, Be It” mentees, Chelsea and Emily, helped serve the meal at the NSLCHFH’s annual fundraising dinner in February and two others, Isabelle and Akashia, opted to help paint exterior siding and trim on a recent, fairly warm and very sunny Saturday.
Joining them were Soroptimists Shari Fisher and Jill Oja. I, too, joined in, as did NSLCHFH partner family members Michaela Pierce and Carolin McDonell. Carolin, the partner family member whose siding was being painted that day, also provided a delicious lunch for the group. Shari also recruited her grandson, Gavin, to help paint, and he enjoyed being a member of the team.
The morning of painting and stacking siding and trim went very quickly, with lots of laughs and the sharing of stories. As with all volunteer work, the group adjourned to the lunch table feeling good about the progress made and the understanding that their hard work was helping not only Carolin and her family, but our whole community. By sharing their time and talent, they were strengthening their relationships with each other while realizing the value of their volunteer efforts. Who doesn’t feel rewarded by helping others and giving back to the community? Susan Garrett lives in Cotton, MN. She is a member of Soroptimist International of Virginia and is also the community relations manager for North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity.