Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Working Together for a Better Tomorrow

howdy yall!

I don't know if everyone got the chance to catch the State of the Union Address last night but it was quite different from those that came before. Its not everyday that Republicans and Democrats sit side by side at such an event. And although opinions on issues may vary between parties, I for one believe that it was truly inspiring to see those differences pushed aside if even for a short while.

In an age of uncertainty and indifference one thing should remain clear:
as Americans (or humans rather,) we are all in this together.

Let the speech be a lesson to us all. Despite one's race, political party, socio-economic status, or religion we are all entitled to the same unalienable rights. For this reason we should take every opportunity we are given to help out the less fortunate, even if it means stepping out of our precious little comfort zones.

Lo Lesson #4:

Everyone has their own political views and I'm not one to push mine on others. Whether or not you agree with last night's seating arrangement, I hope that you can agree with me on this: the well-being of your neighbor directly affects that of your own. It might seem like a daunting task to work with those who think differently than you but try it and the outcome could be beautiful. As the wise, extremely talented, and awesome in everyway (who just so happens to be my heart's one desire..besides Bradley Cooper..) Dave Matthews once sang:

"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all."

Let's work together to make this world a better place.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day ON or day OFF?!

I'm talking about MLK day.
How did you remember and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr?
It's amazing what happens when you choose to have a
day ON rather than a day OFF!

Oh yeah... before I go off on a tangent about how awesome the volunteers in the Central Florida Community are, let me introduce myself. I'm Lindsay, I'm a Public Ally and the Public Relations Coordinator here at the Mustard Seed of Central Florida. Aka - I guess you could say I'm Lauren and Laura's "boss" & the girl who picked 2 interns with almost the same name! I put "boss" in quotes because they really don't need one - they are amazing and making a HUGE difference here at The Mustard Seed!

Back to Dr. King & Service...
This year I celebrated the Holiday ON and I couldn't be happier about it!

On Saturday, Public Allies of Central Florida volunteered with Hands On Orlando at Grand Ave Elementary School in Orlando, FL. We built benches, landscaped, and cleaned classrooms. We were very lucky to not only participate in a service event together as allies but also work along side dedicated volunteers from the Central Florida Community. I only wished we could have see the student’s faces Monday morning when they arrived to school.

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday, at The Mustard Seed we had a group of Hands On Orlando volunteers assist us in three areas of our warehouse. Drum roll please....They sorted, organized and relocated 2,650 lbs of clothing, linen, and household items! Yup, thats over a TON (literally a TON) sorted and organized for the over 100 families that visit The Mustard Seed of Central Florida each month!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered -
You are an amazing inspiration!

These 2 events are only a small sample of the impact volunteers had on MLK day in the Central Florida Communtiy. It’s amazing what a dedicated group of people can accomplish by deciding to have a day ON, instead of a day off.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?' "
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Helping those Outside the Central Florida Community

...i'm backkkk!

Last week I embarked on an adventure to Biloxi, Mississippi with 28 of the most awesome, good-hearted, and hilarious people I know.

Collegiate Challenge: (noun) 1. a trip lasting one week during which Habitat for HumanityUCF members challenge themselves by traveling a minimum of 8 hours on a bus, waking up before sunrise everyday to do manual labor, and most importantly put aside their own interests to help those in need 2. the ultimate bonding experience.

It has been nearly 6 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, yet the way it affected both the coastal infrastructure and the lives of those who call these shores home is still incredibly apparent. While sharing their stories, members of the community all referenced periods of their lives as "before (or) after the storm" as if Katrina was a common life experience like graduating from high school or getting your first car. Although Katrina brought extreme deprivation to this area, the unity between members of the community is astonishing and its something we will never truly be able to comprehend.

The houses our group worked on were set on stilts to minimize potential flood damages from future storms. Working at such great heights was a challenging first for many of the us on this trip, but at the same time it made our accomplishments seem even greater!



As Treasurer of HabitatUCF this was my 4th Collegiate Challenge. Although each experience and location has been different, its safe to say that our journey to Mississippi changed my life in ways that are pretty much indescribable. As one of the leaders of this trip, I not only had to look out for my own fun and safety but also the well being of what I consider now to be 28 of my closest friends. It was beautiful to see how much relationships and outlooks on life can change over the course of one week.

My welcome back from The Mustard Seed... 300 mattresses to unload andddd...


Lo Lesson 3:

What Tim the Tool Man Taylor never told us:

If you think it is a good idea to get crafty with a table saw, think again. The piece of wood you are trying to cut a little triangle out of (to give to your site leader as a gift) may be too short for you to "steady" without sawing off your fingers. This is simply because you are not only steadying the wood you are also holding it down so it doesn't shoot off at the speed of light in the direction your closest friend (just like you would see on an episode of Tool Time.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Truth

Ok, I just have to put this out there. I. Love. Working. Here.
Why you ask? Well, I got a few reasons.

1.  We change lives. Everyday.

2. We have calendars with sweet holidays on them. Like Bubble Bath Day - which is Saturday the 8th, by the way. And then there's National Peanut Brittle Day, International Sword Swallower's Day, and Hug an Australian Day.  

3. I really like all the people I work with.
I have never seen two people more dedicated to their work than Michelle and Jennifer, our Executive Director and Director of Operations, respectively. They are so loving and so passionate about the success of The Mustard Seed. They are always willing to go the extra mile, whether that means staying late, unloading a truck of mattresses, or cleaning the toilet. It is truly inspirational to know these ladies and to be around them throughout the week.

4. They got me my very own business cards! I feel like a real live grown-up!

5. I'm learning a lot. I have been in college for 2 1/2 years and , don't get me wrong, you learn some good stuff, but once you get into the real world and put it all into practice you really start learning. You find out what works and what doesn't. You have victories and struggles. And just like any experience in life, you learn a lot about you.

Oh, and P.S. - Don't forget to take a nice long bubble bath on Saturday!