Some of the volunteers arrived in a patrol car. Many of them showed up wearing camouflage pants, but they all wore a blue t-shirt with “Reporting For Duty In Your Community” emblazoned on the back.
They were met by a small troop of Democracy Prep Congress Heights Elementary scholars who came to school ready to paint, plant, and rebuild their school’s garden.
The volunteers, military veterans who are members of The Mission Continues and local police officers, partnered with the DPCHE community for a day of service on September 11.
“It was a blast,” says volunteer, Andy Lundin.“The kids had a good time planting, learning how to use tools and putting things together.”
Day of Service at Congress Heights
The project was proposed by Diamond, a sixth-grade scholar who said she missed the garden space the school had two years ago.
Sean Reidy, the executive director of DPCHE asked her to draft a proposal for the project. He then reached out to The Mission Continues where their request was eagerly met by a group of veterans who were ready and willing to help the scholars beautify their community.
This project is the first in what The Mission Continues volunteers hope will be a partnership that will eventually include STEM programs at the school.
“The willingness to help make this place better, to make the neighborhood better, to make this city better, all of these kids have that within them,” says David Beck, who is the 3rd Platoon leader for The Mission Continues. “We just need to tap into it.”
Volunteer Leah Housewright said she could hear the scholars participating in the signature positivity chants as she struggled to battle the glare of the noon sun that threatened to stall the process of painting the DP crest on the building.
“It motivated me work hard to get it right because these kids deserve the best,” she said.“Congress Heights is unlike any other school I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait to do more with them.”