We arrived in Atlanta on Friday, dropped off our stuff at the church, and headed to our first group dinner. On Saturday morning we headed to Project Open Hand and learned about the organization. Project Open Hand (OH) delivers microwavable meals to those unable to make their own meals, such as the elderly and chronically ill. OH delivers nutritious and diverse meals that cater to clients’ needs and spends $3 million per year on raw food products. We then spent the rest of the day scooping food into containers, sealing the containers and putting bags together to be delivered. We returned again on Sunday to pack more food. That afternoon, we broke into two groups. One group remain at OH and packed more food. We were told that we helped prepare over 1600 meals during our time at OH! The other group was able to drive throughout Atlanta and deliver meals to clients. The people we were able to meet were so grateful and it was a humbling experience to meet these people. Overall, the experience made us grateful that we never had to worry about where our next meal was coming or about who would be able to prepare our next meal. Monday morning, Break Away graciously hosted us for breakfast and it was so cool to meet staff from our parent organization! Since Monday was MLK Day, we decided to spend our free day at the MLK Museum. We were able to learn more about this amazing man and his life. We had such an amazing time bonding with one another and serving the community of Atlanta on this short weekend!
Position: MLK Weekend Site Leader for Food Insecurity in Atlanta, Georgia
Class of 2013
Hometown: Dothan, AL
Major: Finance/ Supply Chain Management
Crunch or Creamy Peanut Butter: Creamy… who likes crunchy?
Why did you choose your trip issue?
I chose my trip issue because it is important to realize there are men and women just like us who are at risk of chronic illnesses simply because of their diets. We, as college students, sometimes forget that thousands of people suffer from poverty and hunger because we live in a bubble.
What are you most looking forward to on your trip?
I am looking forward to seeing how all of my participants and myself react while working in the food kitchen and how everyone handles difficult situations.
What made you do ASB in the first place?
My friends suggested I participate in an ASB trip. I will admit, I was a little hesitant at first, but after the first training, I was comfortable and ready for my trip!
What trips have you participated in the past?
Ecological Preservation Spring 2012 in the Everglades, Florida
What is your favorite ASB memory?
My favorite memory was while cleaning up Key Biscayne, a grandfather thanked us for our help because walking along the beach was his granddaughter’s and his favorite hobby.
What is one thing you learned on an ASB trip?
I learned that nothing goes as expected most of the time. Plans will not always go accordingly and you have to be adaptable and flexible to changing situations.
How has ASB impacted your college career? Has ASB changed your life trajectory?
ASB has become one of my favorite activities on campus. ASB has changed me and made me feel appreciative and grateful for everything I have and not take anything for granted. I plan on becoming involved in my future company’s community involvement and I would like to eventually work with a nonprofit organization.
Another successful day! We held a pancake breakfast at SafeHouse, an organization that donates items and resources to people in need. We walked around Hurt Park and Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta to spread the word to people that might have been hungry. We had great turnout and served lots of pancakes and coffee. Then, we went to Woodruff Park and mingled with the people playing chess and the Occupy Atlanta protectors. We all have some very interesting stories from today! Lastly, we went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park and visited the historic Ebenezer Church and tomb of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. We all found that very interesting! We learned a lot again today, and it was so much fun! We had some really great conversations! Tomorrow, we will visit the overpasses to give out toiletry kits to the folks that live under the bridges.
Today was very successful!! We started with a wonderful all you can eat breakfast at the church we are staying at! We headed out to The Garden, a place the gives people a home until they can get back on their feet. We played with lots of kids and babies! Then, we traveled around The Bluffs, a neighborhood located close to the Georgia Dome, and handed out lunches. We also handed out lunches and toiletries to residents of Bankhead. We came back at suppertime for delicious chicken nachos. We ended our night with making more toiletry kits and watching the Broncos vs. Patriots game! Tomorrow, we are volunteering at SafeHouse and helping serve a pancake breakfast. We have really stepped out of our comfort zones by giving out hugs and listening to the stories of the people surviving everyday on the streets. Today was a success, and tomorrow will be great, too!