1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1610, Philadelphia, PA 19102

VISTAs Choose Kindness

January 28, 2019

 

As the Homelessness Volunteer VISTA for the Office of Homeless Services, my daily work is categorized as indirect service. This means that on a typical day, I do not get to directly see the impact my work has on those in need. For that reason, I was excited about the opportunity to volunteer at the Overbrook Educational Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we arrived, my fellow VISTAs and I were tasked to paint a mural on one of the school cafeteria wall’s.

 

At first, I was worried about how the mural would turn out due to the lack of professional artists in our group. We did not even have a professional artist supervising our work! Despite my initial worries, I was confident that our team would get the job done. I knew that our belief in each other and the motivation to leave a positive impact on the school was the driving force behind creating this mural.

 

The mural we were assigned to create would display a positive message that is also surrounded by text bubbles that students would later place quotes in. Choose Kindness is the message we selected to be painted on the wall. These words are simple, but also powerful in that they reflect the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. After completing the mural, I stared in amazement at our finished art and was overcome with feelings of pride and accomplishment. Listening firsthand to the students and faculty as they expressed their gratitude for the mural was heartwarming. This experience made it clear to me that a small act of kindness can have a significant impact in the lives of others.

 

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Yaried Hailu is the Homelessness Volunteer VISTA for the Office of Homeless Services.

 

Are you interested in being a part of next year's SERVE Philadelphia VISTA Corps? Apply now!

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