I hate getting up early on Sunday but when it’s for a great reason I can stand the sleep deprivation. It was a sunshine-filled morning so that made it easier right? I trudged through Sunday subway schedule mayhem to get to Union Square to meet my girlfriends.
My trip was as expected filled with detours and I arrived thirty minutes late, I swear it wasn’t on purpose. I bought the birthday flowers I planned to and headed towards the park. It was filled with the usual crowds, skateboarders, hare-Krishnas chanting, artists painting and champions playing chess. So I texted my friends and met them on the other side of the park, and there was a large crowd of people organizing today’s activities.
What were the activities for the day? Well, my friends and I signed up for homeless outreach in the Union Square Park area. The program was set up by the organizers of the AfroPunk Fest and is named the AfroPunk Army. I was fortunate enough to earn my ticket by doing this day of homeless outreach. On the AfroPunk website, the AfroPunk Army is described as;
The AFROPUNK (AP) ARMY encourages interested festival-goers to be of service by volunteering time, passion & talents to communities citywide. To recognize volunteer efforts, all AP ARMY participants who successfully complete a volunteer project will earn a SINGLE TICKET to AFROPUNK FEST 2015!
Groups of people no less than five hundred split into smaller groups and headed out in different directions walking through lower Manhattan distributing toiletries, sanitary napkins, and information of where homeless people could get more help if they wished.
We were in a group of fifty, mostly young, different races, and all concerned about helping. It was such a good feeling being around people with good intentions. We had political conversations, fun conversations, and distributed supplies until they were all gone. Four foot-throbbing hours later, we had landscaped the East Village to help as many as that wanted help.
In the end, we felt great for doing a little something and earned tickets to AfroPunk Fest. My heart was full and it ignited my willingness to do more volunteer efforts. I’m thinking of what the next one will be. Giving to get on a Sunday, was the aim but I would’ve given even if there was no prize.
Do you join in with volunteer work in your area? What do you do? I’d love to hear about, tell me below in the comments.
Until our next rendezvous…