Be inspired by the Action Team
The mountain of books was overwhelming. The boxes rose like cliffs of colors, words and pictures from the floor, totally surrounding us. When the evening began, I wasn’t sure we would ever be able to complete the task at hand. There were picture books, novels, chapter books for early readers; big books, small books, from Harry Potter to Is Your Mama a Llama?. Our brows were sweaty and our muscles were sore. But we were almost finished and a sense of euphoria and exhaustion was taking over. It was certainly a different way to spend a Friday night.
|The volunteers that had come to help us that evening were not your typical do-gooders. They were Tamra and Kanisha, two of Detroit’s Action Team captains. Tamra, from Detroit’s Mumford High School and Kanisha, from Fraser High School; both busy high school juniors, had willingly agreed to give up their normally full Friday night social schedules to haul around and sort through approximately 25,000 books. This was a hard job, with little glory. “I thought I told you that I didn’t want to see any more books!” It was the following Tuesday as I turned toward the familiar voice over the general clamber of the room. Kanisha’s wide smile and comfortable air seemed to brighten everything around her. We laughed and hugged and got right to work setting the stage for the event at hand. The children would arrive soon.
The day passed quickly; children, books, reading and laughing. Kanisha and the other 25 volunteers brightened the day of many young and impressionable kids. Each of the children left with two books, a couple pieces of candy and a memory that they could cherish. Kanisha and the rest of the Action Team left that day knowing that what they had done made a difference for the children they met. “It was worth it. Even though I had to see more books!” Kanisha’s smile showed the weariness of a long day of intense interaction with first graders, but to me, it shined brighter than ever.
||The Action Teams, a joint initiative with Volunteers of America and the Major League Ball Players Trust, is comprised locally of volunteers from four area high schools. The Action Teams are made up of teens dedicated to positively impacting their communities and promoting volunteerism. To get involved with the Action Teams, contact Emilie Rohrbach (firstname.lastname@example.org).|