So, a bit different type of post today…but a post at that!
For the past couple of years, I have driven down to SW 9th and Porter Avenue once a week during the summer and fall to spend time with a student at Orchard Place. As stated on their website, “Orchard Place is a nationally recognized leader in children’s mental health and juvenile justice services.” I have served as a mentor to three kids over my tenure as a volunteer.
I first learned of Orchard Place when the Junior League of Des Moines (an organization I’ve mentioned before) chose to partner on a project to fund the creation of a small workout work for the kids at OP. I got the opportunity to attend a breakfast in which the CEO, Brock Wolff, talked so passionately about his work and the work of all the staff at OP. It’s something I have been lucky enough to witness while hanging out with my mentee. Not only does the staff work hard, enjoy their jobs, but a large chunk of the funding for OP comes from staff and volunteer donations…an amount I
don’t recall but I remember being amazed.
Other than spending time with these awesome kids, one of my favorite parts of volunteering is getting to do all those things you used to do as a kid, but might not take the time or have the time to do anymore (especially since I don’t have children of my own) – playing HORSE on the basketball court, Chutes and Ladders, coloring with crayons and coloring books, and currently I am learning how to play chess. Last week I was introduced to Bananagrams and it’s on my Target list already!
Since I’ve been posting food and workouts for so long, I feel weird not posting something along those lines, so here is a quick snapshot from my lunch. A small salad with Romano cheese, grilled chicken, and a drizzle of olive oil. On the side is some delicious prosciutto from a local farmer in Norwalk…La Quercia.
By the way, my small camera I’ve had since college and carry around in my purse for those non-massive-camera situations died the other week. I ran it by Christian Photo here in Des Moines (fantastic customer service, by the way), and it’s official…it died. So, the camera I typically use to take quick shots around Des Moines is no longer and until I get a replacement, the Blackberry will have to do. 😦
So enough gabbing from me. It’s time for bed. Just the life in an average Iowa farm girl, right? 🙂
If you’re interested in volunteering for Orchard Place, they are always looking
for volunteers to serve as mentors and I highly, highly recommend it! Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you the contact information for their volunteer coordinator.
Till next time!