This past Thursday, we had a crew of volunteers offer their services to clean up Dolphus' backyard. The volunteers are a part of the Summer Servants program through Brady Faith Center. Dolphus' yard was overgrown with tall weeds, burdock plants, and other invasive greenery. With my and Andrew's help, this group of teenagers nearly cleared away all of the brush until a rainstorm forced us to quit.
During our time together, I had the chance to speak with one of the volunteers, Mika. Mika explained that she had been invited to do service with this group with the intention of wanting to help people. I learned that these Summer Servants had spent their whole week visiting different charities and performing varied tasks in Syracuse. Among these varied tasks, the group had visited Catholic Charities to fill gift baskets and had served food at a rescue mission in the city. This group also got to meet many new faces, including Dolphus, through Pedal to Possibilities when they joined in on Wednesday's bike ride. Mika concluded our chat with stating that she was happy to be helpful in any small way that she was able, but that she hoped to have a larger impact on the big picture in her future.
When the rain halted any further work, I was able to step back and realize how much better Dolphus' plot looked. The volunteers had started putting down landscape fabric to prevent any more weeds from growing. And soon, Dolphus' backyard will be mulched and all eyes can focus on his garden.
And hopefully, the city doesn't have too much trouble clearing away the remains of this cleanup.