Bloom Where You’re Planted

Lynn Yoder, Malia Sedlaceck, Edna Villatoro, Elizabeth Slater, Evelyn Gerber, Esther Hughes, Kennedy Roth

We’ll be posting some articles detailing our students’ Service and Learning Term experiences. We hope you enjoy getting to learn more about each group.

The “Bloom Where You’re Planted” SALT group spent the week volunteering locally. The goal of this Service and Learning Term was to instill the idea that one does not need to travel very far to find opportunities to volunteer – to bloom!

This group had a busy week! They spent Monday doing odd jobs for residents of the village community at Pleasantview. They raked leaves, cleared flower beds, washed windows, cleaned out garages, trimmed rose bushes, and did a few indoor spring cleaning tasks. One student commented “All of the residents were really grateful for our help, and many of them wanted to reward us with cookies!”

On Tuesday the Bloom group volunteered at the new Crowded Closet. The girls sorted clothing, tagged and shelved items, helped with the silent auction, bagged at the cash registers, and did other needed tasks. One student commented that the best part of the day was meeting and working with the other volunteers, and getting a great tour at the start of the day. Thanks Christine Beachy!

On Wednesday the girls hosted a Free Daycare Day for preschooler in the area. Seven children attended. The group did crafts, read books, played games in the gym, and fixed lunch and snacks. The daycare ran from 8:30am to 4:00pm. We were blessed with spending the day caring for these energetic, happy, wonderful kids. One Bloom member reflected “I learned how tiring it is to keep a kid busy for a whole day.” Another wrote “The best part of the day was playing with the cute kids. The most challenging part was waking up from nap time.”

On Thursday the group did the Free Lunch Program in Iowa City. With help from the program’s director the group prepared the meal, served 140 guests, ate with the guests, and then cleaned up. One student commented “Something interesting I learned was that it takes a lot of work for the volunteers to prepare the food, serve, and clean after – especially if it’s every day. It’s awesome to see that we still have people who care enough to serve.”

On Friday the Bloom group visited Informed Choices in Iowa City. They were given a very thorough over view of the services Informed Choices provides, and then they spent several hours sorting donated baby clothes and stuffing envelopes for the hundreds of flyers the organization sends out regularly.

The group wrapped up a fun week of volunteering by have a little more fun together shopping in Des Moines. This group of 6 girls and sponsors Lynn Yoder and Diane Willems got to know each other very well. There is no better way to get to know someone new than to work elbow to elbow with them all week. One student wrote “I feel like I got closer to everyone after spending a whole week with them doing similar things. None of us were embarrassed or uncomfortable around each other, we just laughed a lot and got along really well.”