Saturday, December 7, 2013

Volunteering - Give a Little, Get a Lot

Ok, this post title is cheesy, I admit it.  However, I honestly believe it is completely accurate so I'm keeping it.  Thanksgiving weekend was first weekend I can remember that hasn't included at least one day of volunteering, if not two.  I've volunteered for a number of great organizations recently, but I only took pictures at one event this past month, so that' s the one I'm posting about!

The Corcoran Gallery of Art is an art gallery in Washington DC with a focus on education.  Contemporary American art and artists have always been a focus for the Corcoran.  I volunteered regularly for two years as a docent at the Corcoran through The Junior League of Washington.  While I tranistioned to a different volunteer placement, I was excited to see an opportunity to volunteer at Corcoran Community Day.  The family events and workshops for kids were always my favorite parts of being a docent.

At this event, I worked in one of the workshops, helping kids create catfish out of recycled materials, including water bottles.  Inspired by Mia Feuer, an artist featured in NOW at the Corcoran whose work often depicts people's impact on the environment, we educated visitors about how people have polluted the Anacostia River to the point where catfish have been contaminated so badly that they should not be eaten.  We had a staff member from the Anacostia River Project there educating people as well.

I had to make a model before the workshop started.  Here it is:

I was pretty satisfied considering I can't remember the last time I did anything crafty.  One little girl seemed to like it, as she wanted to take it home instead of hers.  (I would have been cool with it, but her mom said no :) )

I had a great time working with and meeting families with kids ranging from toddlers to teenagers.  It was awesome to see so many families taking advantage of this FREE community day, and really just being good parents trying to educate their kids.

One little friend I spent a lot of time with was Noah.  Noah is an aspiring artist, and really had a great time.  He showed me some of his artwork from home that he carried with him in his backpack.  Superheros seemed to be his specialty, but he made a pretty awesome catfish.

The brightly colored electrical tape was a cool medium.  Also, note that Noah's mom was cool with me taking his picture and I only asked (or even thought to take one) after she asked if she could take pictures and took a bunch of Noah and me together.  What a cool little guy.

Anyways, to keep these posts somewhat informative, I encourage all of you to volunteer.  It's free entertainment, and it makes you feel so good to be able to be part of something good.

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