Greetings from Park Place!
Last Thursday, I was given the opportunity to work with United Way’s Week of Caring Volunteers site at Vance Middle School Garden in Bristol, TN. Volunteers arrived at 8 AM and after a quick lesson about our garden site, we went straight to work.
Things are in full swing at the Vance garden and there was work to be done. We started off by weeding the paths and the rows in our garden (we ran into lots of spiny pigweed). Then it was time to harvest . We harvested some broccoli, new potatoes, and some kale. We also planted some beans and parsley and had a little snack of snap peas fresh from the vine.
The best part of the day was not the harvest, or even the nice tidy garden we left behind when we were finished. The best part of the day came with the satisfaction that (while we had a small harvest) we were able to work with another group of volunteers to make an impact in the community around us and donate food to a food local pantry.
When I first applied to be a Summer Americorps VISTA with ASD, I was under the impression that I would be volunteering in a garden everyday. However, I quickly learned that I had underestimated the role of the Summer VISTA here at ASD. I have a much broader “job description” if you will, and I actually get the chance to make an impact on the rural appalachian region!
Opportunities like the one I had last Thursday are not a rare event here at ASD. Every employee and volunteer is given a chance to make a positive impact in rural appalachia every single day, and it is that benefit and feeling of servitude to the community that makes my Summer Vista position worthwhile.
Thanks again to United Way volunteers for a solid and fun day in the Vance garden!
Devan Crabtree; AmeriCorps Summer VISTA