It's amazing what kind of activities you find yourself participating in when your boyfriend is the philanthropy chair of his fraternity. At the beginning of February, I found myself embarking upon my first philanthropy event with David. We were volunteering at the Central Presbyterian Night Shelter where we were going to be serving the men dinner and keeping watch over them while they slept. By the end of it all, I was tired and dirty from staying up all night, but the whole experience was bizarrely rewarding. Overall, I didn't have that much hands on interaction with the homeless men, but they were all still so gracious for every little thing that we did for them, and it was I in return that felt gracious for the rewarding experience.
Later in the month, I volunteered with David and some of the Chi Psi brothers with Trees Atlanta. We woke up quite early and made our way over to the site where the organization was going to be working for the morning. We spent the time mostly just planting trees and bushes in the area as well as picking up the surrounding litter and watering the trees we had planted and mulched. The work done was ended with a delicious grill-out back at the fraternity house, and it was the perfect way to sate the appetite that we had all worked up while planting.
Over this past weekend, there were two philanthropy events that I participated in: the first was Tech Beautification Day and the other was Relay for Life. Tech Beautification Day was a great way to start the morning. Everything began with free doughnuts at the Campinele before we went to work. Each group had a different project that they were working on, and Chi Psi was cleaning up their lawn. We pulled countless weeds and laid down pinestraw in the newly cleared areas. By the end of the three hours, we were sweaty and dirty, but the lawn was looking great again. The free pizza and t-shirt wasn't a bad motivator either :)
Then, that evening, we participated in Relay for Life which is an event that takes place annually around the country to help raise cancer awareness. We spent the evening at the event walking and sitting around having a good time while we worked for a good cause. We heard real-life survivor stories, and I was in awe over the gentleman who had survived his cancer five years ago and who chose to spend his time at the event not walking against cancer but running. Last year at Relay for Life, he ran 22 miles. This year his goal was an entire marathon. And he did it. It was amazing to bear witness to such a spectacular man who was doing this in the name of cancer patients and survivors everywhere. The 7 PM - 7 AM night was exhausting, but it reaffirmed why I do community service and philanthropy.