Saturday, November 15, 2008

It Takes A Village

My back and legs are killing me. That’s because today I participated in the playground build at KIPP Central City Academy. The build was led by a great organization called Kaboom. We remodeled the entire courtyard. I didn’t know they were planting gardens and painting the basketball court. As far as days in New Orleans go, it was a pretty good one. On behalf of all the parents whose kids will be the first ones to play on it next week I just want to say thanks to all the volunteers. I can’t remember every group but I want to recognize St. Michael Family Missions, the folks from California working with Common Ground, the kids from Newman High School, Country Day High School, and the small army of students from Xavier University. We never would have gotten through those 140 cubic yards of mulch without you.

My allergic reaction to being corny will keep me from saying something really mushy. Let’s just say that with all the things going on around the world and this city it was good to see that many people from all different walks of life having a good time and helping the kids. I do have a few observations from the day.

• Black DJs have to get a more diverse set of records to play. I don’t know why I found the fact he was playing Lollipop by Lil Wayne in front of all those volunteers so funny. The funniest part of the day was later in the day when Wild Wayne from Q93 told all those kids singing some rap song that it was time to recite their multiplication tables.
• Whenever you volunteering for something always wear over size clothes so people can’t see your size and ask you to pick up on everything heavy.
• The site of pretty college girls shoveling mulch and pushing wheelbarrows warms your heart inside.
• Always find out ahead of time what the colors or symbols on your name tag designate. This could be the difference between mixing concrete and re-painting the map of America on the blacktop.
• I sure wish the mayor and city council would have stopped by and carried a few loads of mulch or drilled a few holes. I guess they were busy exchanging emails.
• There was an old white lady from somewhere in the city. She was shoveling mulch next to an 8 year old little black girl from the neighborhood. They were both filling up the loads for me and a white teacher from California with a Mohawk to carry together. I won’t say anything corny but I will dedicate this song to the entire group.

It was a good day and that school is full of great people.


Leigh C. said...

"I sure wish the mayor and city council would have stopped by and carried a few loads of mulch or drilled a few holes. I guess they were busy exchanging emails."

Well, there you go. And they instead end up missing out on the fun that is the Kaboom! experience...which is one of THE ways to get everybody up and working for the good of all, in my opinion.

I hope y'all did the Twist out there, too while you were at it.


Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Cliff,

Nice post, man. I admire your spirit of volunteerism. Like you, when I volunteered it reminded me that folks from all over are willing to do their part to set right this sinking ship.

Thanks for the positivity.