After a couple of months being in the office for the winter, we were finally given the news that we would be heading down to the south for our first of six AT&T Impact events! This trip was extra special to me because we were headed down to Atlanta, GA which is where I call home. It was made even more special because Hugh Harlow, Care Force’s Senior Partnerships Manager, let me fly out earlier on March 15, which just so happened to be my birthday. So I had the chance to spend my birthday with my family and friends….or so I thought. Sadly, that was not the case. I was supposed to fly out at 3:30 PM, but the flight got delayed, and again, and again, and again. I didn’t fly out until 9:30 PM and ultimately landed in Atlanta at 12:30AM, March 16. Though I spent my birthday at the airport and on the plane, it was still great to have a couple extra days to be with family and friends, and for that, I am extremely grateful.
The weekend came and went, and now it was time to start prep. Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture’s mission is to feed people right where they live. They are committed to bringing good food, good health and well-being to Atlanta’s urban community. After getting a tour of the beautiful farm and meeting the wonderful staff, I went straight to the chicken coop, where we would be storing all of our tools. I have sorted tools before, but this time was different. We ordered tools from the Atlanta Community ToolBank for more than 500 volunteers to complete projects that consists of painting, construction, and a lot of landscaping. It can get pretty challenging sorting landscaping tools when don’t know the name of most of them. My teammate Albertine Samson and I spent two full days in and around the chicken coop arranging and rearranging hundreds of tampers, shovels, pitchforks, rakes, etc. onto wheelbarrows and placing them in an organized fashion. I learned a lot in those two days and I want to take this moment to give Albertine a huge shout out. There were many trial and errors, heavy tools falling on our feet, wheelbarrows tipping over, and counting and recounting, but she greeted every challenge with determination.
Wheelbarrows filled with rakes and shovels are lined up to be distributed on the service day.
Event day was finally here and we were in new leadership roles as Area Coordinators. Being an Area Coordinator meant that we would supervise multiple projects that were led by AT&T volunteers serving as Project Coordinators (PC). It was our responsibility to make sure our PCs and volunteers were set up for success on event day. As the event progressed throughout the morning, I got more comfortable in my management skills, answering questions with confidence, and thoroughly enjoying myself. My PCs and volunteers were able to finish four projects: revamping the Children’s Garden, constructing six butcher block benches and four picnic tables, and making garden beds on the farm’s slope so the farm can grow and sell more produce.
AT&T volunteers garden and landscape on the service day at the Truly Living Well Center.
Being a part of Care Force means we get to help transform communities all over the country. Being able to come back home and help my own community meant so much more than I could ever have imaged. Thank you to Truly Living Well, Westside Future Fund, and AT&T for giving my team and I the opportunity to truly help make better happen.
-Written by: Jenna Kim, Senior AmeriCorps Member, Care Force '19