January was undoubtedly the most exciting and productivity month of my journey as an Atlas Corps fellow serving at Points of Light in Atlanta, GA.
So many things moved forward in my life and I would need hours to be able to describe all of them in a single blog post. However, I would like to share with you a very enriching experience I had being a SBV at Martin Luther King Day (aka MLK day).
First of all, for those who are not familiar with the MLK Day (this basically include all my Brazilian friends):
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The federal holiday was first observed in 1986, making 2011 the 25th anniversary of the King federal holiday.
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” . The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
During this very important day in the United States of America, I was invited by one of my co-workers to take part in an event organized by Points of Light, my role was to act as a Skill Based Volunteer in a Community Café in a impoverished community in College Park, GA.
As a SBV, my role was to facilitate a discussion about “Income Generation” among different stakeholders from the community. At the begin I though this role was far beyond my skills… I have to confess that I never imagined myself being able to facilitate such discussion in a foreign language and in a reality so different.
I decided to take the challenge and the only think I can say is that the results overcame all my expectations. As I believe a picture is worth a thousand words… and I have no words to express my experience, I hope you all enjoy it:
Last but not least, at the end I think I did a great job:
“You were wonderful in you role as SBV’s, facilitating and note-taking. We look forward to doing this same type of program/ project in the future and hope that many of you will participate once again.
Thank you again for your commitment to service and especially to serving on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! ”
PS: For those who want to learn more about Skill Based Volunteers as well as local volunteer opportunities I strongly advice to take a look at the HandsOn Network web site.