By: Camila Gonzalez
My community service this year was a lot different compared to last year. Last year I individually helped community members with an intern I work closely with. Together we cleaned 2 large areas of land owned by Dodge Citians, organized a community closet, and helped at enrollment for USD 443. It was wonderful to see smiling faces after the fact, especially after cleaning the two lands.
As of now, I’ve finished 8 hours of community service. It’s almost harder to plan around my internship, job, and summer classes than actually doing the community service! My community service began with painting a house for Paint Dodge, an organization under the Development Corporation. This has probably been my favorite community service opportunity because I got to meet graduate students from all over the country biking through the nation. For half the day, under the sun, The Bike and Build volunteers and I primed and painted a house that had been damaged prior to then. Bike and Build is an amazing organization that I never knew about until volunteers described it to me. They began their biking trip on the East coast and should end on the West. Dodge City was around their midpoint. They explained to me that they bike from city to city and on the days they didn’t bike, they were painting houses. The most interesting part to me was hearing that they slept in churches!
Some of my other service hours were spent passing out flyers for the Migrant Program for USD 443. The Migrant Education Program provides educational services and support to students that have struggled with the disadvantages that come with moving, one being the language barrier. I was passing out flyers to the students’ homes where they were being invited to Derby, KS to go to a Dinosaur Museum. My favorite part of this experience was seeing the happiness in some of those kids’ eyes. It’s really humbling to see and makes my heart very warm.
The last 2 hours I have left for community service will be spent at KidzFest during Dodge City Days. KidzFest is meant for the youth of our community where businesses in Dodge come together to let them let loose and have fun!