Tag Archives: Our Piece of the Pie

Global Youth Service Day – Reflection & Planning

30 Apr

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) was last weekend, April 20-22! Although I’ve worked on other projects this year, GYSD is the central part of my Public Ally term of service. I am, after all, Our Piece of the Pie’s “2012 Global Youth Service Day Coordinator” … or I was. With the big day (April 21st) behind me, I’m experiencing an odd combination of feeling relief and feeling like I lost something very important. On my first day at Our Piece of the Pie, I was handed a massive binder left by last year’s GYSD Coordinator.

Since that day in September, everything I’ve worked on has been directly or indirectly geared towards a successful Global Youth Service Day. For the last month, I don’t think there is a single waking hour that I haven’t worked on, thought about, or talked about Global Youth Service Day… and I’ve certainly dreamed about it enough too. A few people have joked that I have a talent for turning any conversation topic into a discussion on Global Youth Service Day. I swear I’m not that self-involved… it’s just been the only thing bouncing around in my head! Regardless, a big THANK YOU is in order for all the people who have put up with me for the past month! The planning details are the boring bits of this whole story, but they give a glimpse at what I’ve spent the past months on. Here are some of the tasks involved in the GYSD planning process:

  • Find a venue for the main GYSD event, make arrangements with their staff, draft an MoU for the partnership, and understand the benefits and limitations of the facility
  • meet with community partners in planning meetings and one-on-one
  • creat and distribute flyers, permission forms, and other promotional materials
  • recruit youth volunteers at various schools and after-school programs
  • develop or support the development of over 30 service projects
  • work with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Fire Department to complete necessary permits and understand all safety concerns
  • write a Proclamation and work with the Mayor’s Office to have the Mayor and staff attend events and service projects
  • write a press release
  • seek in-kind donations (made easy by a HUGE food donation from the ShopRite of Manchester, CT)
  • buy multiple van-loads of supplies from Home Depot, BJ’s (warehouse store), and elsewhere
  • and lots more!

It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s over now and the day was a great success! I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and congratulations from others, but I always knew the toughest critic would be myself. I’m still totaling volunteer numbers, receiving photographs, reviewing surveys, and reading project reports; so I hope to only hear more good things! I’ll post a few more blogs on Global Youth Service Day events, projects, and outcomes over the next week!

Philip Drew – Hartford, CT

Martin Luther King Day of Service

2 Feb

At Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), the main job of the Public Ally in my position each year is to coordinate Global Youth Service Day in Hartford, Connecticut. In early December, OPP received a grant from Youth Service America to be a Lead Organizer for Martin Luther King Day of Service. As a result, I was given the exciting opportunity to plan, organize, support, and track MLK Day of Service activities all over Connecticut. This added responsibility transformed December and January into demanding and hectic months, but the effort was well worth it!

Our Piece of the Pie partnered with Hands on Hartford and the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence to put together service projects and a Peace Vigil in Hartford over MLK Day Weekend. OPP’s AmeriCorps VISTAs and I reached out to non-profit organizations and schools planning MLK Day of Service activities all over the state (mostly focused in the Hartford-New Haven-Waterbury area) and put together a volunteer tracking system.  Through the Youth Service America grant, Our Piece of the Pie was able to support eleven MLK Day of Service projects organized by other Connecticut non-profits with $100 – $200 mini-grants.

For the MLK Day Weekend, Our Piece of the Pie reported over 1600 volunteers at 57 different service projects in over 20 different zip codes! The Beloved Community Peace Vigil planned by Our Piece of the Pie, Hands On Hartford, and CT Center for Nonviolence was covered in the Hartford Courant (pictures!).

We’re all connected in our work towards a Beloved Community! Here is a picture from Northwestern AHEC’s MLK Day (organized by Public Ally Jennifer Sweat!):Image

Since working with my AmeriCorps team last year to plan an MLK Day of Service and participating in multiple trainings and workshops on Kingian Nonviolence, I’ve become very interested in and influenced by Dr. King’s teachings. You may remember that some Connecticut Public Allies and I visited the MLK Memorial back in November. For my mid-year Presentation of Learning with Public Allies (which will be elaborated on in my next blog post), I used quotes from my favorite movies, songs, MLK speeches, and a quote from MLK’s D.C. memorial neighbor: FDR.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of Dr. King’s passages that I used in my mid-year Presentation of Learning:

“You may even give your goods to feed the poor; you may bestow great gifts to charity; and you may tower high in philanthropy; but if you have not love, your charity means nothing.”

Any thoughts on this quote?

Philip Drew – Hartford, CT

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