Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hi, my name is Ellen

So I must say, giving back to the community certainly beats spending a Saturday afternoon on the couch with a hangover, watching episode after episode of Tough Love. I had a really good time volunteering today--it felt nice to do something that actually meant something, ya know? I was still feeling nervous about making a damn gingerbread house once we arrived at the school, so I was relieved when Liza and I got paired with the same "buddy." Liza is much more crafty and artistic than I am, so I figured whatever I lacked in that arena, I'd make up for in personality.

Even though I had my name tag on all day, our buddy could only manage to remember Liza's name. I made a lot of effort to ask lots of questions and crack jokes, and it didn't even freakin' matter--Liza was still the favorite! Typical. Anyway, so we decided to tackle the gingerbread house first to get it out of the way, and it turned out to be the project I enjoyed the most. And no, I didn't eat even one piece of candy! I didn't want to give our buddy a "don't spoil your lunch" speech staight out of the gate, so I kept my mouth shut as she popped Tootsie Rolls into her mouth, one after the other.

Next we made wreaths (my least favorite), then a puppet, then a clay sculpture and lastly, a picture frame. Our bud had quite a lot of um, spirit, and there were several times we had to chase after her in between projects. It was all good though--I wore my comfy black leggings and Converse sneaks for that very reason.

When it was all over, I knew it was something I wanted to do again. A lof of these kids probably won't get any presents for Christmas (some come from homeless shelters), so it was great to do these fun holiday projects with them and see the smiles on their faces.

If anyone wants to learn more about the Free Arts Day program in NYC, let me know and I can hook you up! So how did you spend your Saturday afternoon? Don't worry, I won't judge you if you watched reality TV all day long.


  1. That sounds Awesome, Ellen. Nick, the BF, is the more hands-on volunteer of the two of us
    ( while I tend to be on the board that throws big parties, he actually builds houses and takes kids to basketball games) but even I think that making wreths and stuff sounds like an awesome way to make a kid have a better Saturday.

    I spent my Saturday afternoon putting together an early Christmas present from my parents: a fire pit for the back yard!!! I also made some food to take to a holiday party and watched Bama STOMP Florida. Sorry about your Tigers - I was cheering for them to beat GA Tech (TO HELL WITH GEORGIA TECH!) but Tech is a good team.


  2. Yeah, it was a lot of fun, Shannon. I'm looking forward to doing it again. That's so cute that your bf takes kids to basketball games--I'd love to do something like that! I'm interested in the Big Broter/Big Sister program here, but I might wait a bit to do it until my life is a little more stable. I like the idea though of developing a close one-on-one relationship with someone. We'll see.

    And what a thoughtful Christmas present! Um, can I come over and have S'mores with you guys? What food did you make for the holiday party? I'm going to one this weekend and have no idea what to make. No worries about the Tigers, I didn't even watch the game. Eek. BUT, I just found out yesterday that Clemson is playing UK in the bowl game!! Who should I cheer for?!?!

  3. obviously i was too quick to comment on the last post. SO glad you had a great time!!

    i mostly watched football and then drowned my sorrows in at least 6 margaritas. eek. my head still hurts.