Week 12: Volunteering at a Local Community Center
"So what we know in our shop is that we can talk all we want about making healthy choices, about the food we serve our kids, but the truth is if parents don't have anywhere to buy these foods, then all of that is really just talk. And that's something that I don't like, is just talking about anything." - Michelle Obama
What did I do:
With a background in public health, I know all too well what former First Lady Michelle Obama is talking about. To address the growing food deserts in the United States takes more than just talk, or opening up a grocery store. It takes true community partnership.
That's exactly what my friend Arjuna, CEO & Founder of Share Necessities, is doing in Los Angeles. By partnering with Next Level Community Center and meeting the people where they are, Arjuna is addressing disparities that many urban communities face and have learned to survive in today.
My friends and I rolled up our sleeves, joined in for a day of beautification with help from Home Depot. We had a barbecue, danced and got to know the local community. It was a lot of fun, minus the smell of the fertilizer.
Who was with me:
My friends Ellie and Tamara joined in for this adventure. After volunteering we went to an all day global meditation festival to send out good vibes for humanity.
What did I learn:
The guys from Home Depot taught me how to plant flowers. There was a shaman present who performed some native rituals and blessed the women of the community. That was super cool to experience. My main take away was how grateful everyone was to just be together working towards a common goal. The energy was high and magnetic.
Would I do this again:
Definitely! While in NYC, I did grassroots public health work. Since I've switched to consulting, I really miss the rewarding aspect of my job, of giving back to community. This makes it even more important to make time and volunteer with local causes.