Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're so excited and we just can't hide how much we love our LTP!

Team Charlotte, an all female team, embraced our lack of testosterone and decided to form a women’s service group with clients from the different areas that we serve. It has been named “positive women doing positive things” and that is exactly what we have been doing for the past month alongside our new friends. Every Friday we meet and do a service project in one of the four counties that we serve. We have been getting our hands quite literally dirty, but not without lack of laughter and forging new relationships.
Our group has clicked better than we ever thought it would. Even at the first meeting our women were open and talking so much we had to bring it to an end so we could get instructions for our service project. That day we painted flower pots and potted plants to give to a local crisis center. While we were working we were surprised to hear that one of our women has a beautiful singing voice. We convinced her to sing for us while we worked, and she has been singing while serving ever since.
A different woman from our group shared with us her talents for our next service day. She is a cake decorator and she came with cupcakes and multicolored icing to teach us a few techniques. We had a great time decorating cupcakes to give to the House of Mercy, a local living facility for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, our group was pleasantly surprised when there were multiple extras and soon we were enjoying our creations.
Next, we headed down to Rock Hill to give back to the Catawba Care Coalition, an AIDS service organization that resides in South Carolina. Our members that are placed there realized that there was a need for a new bench so clients can have a comfortable place to sit and wait for their transportation. With tools and bench pieces in hand we constructed a bench to be placed outside. Also, that day served as an educational day as we listed to Dr. Wess give a presentation about drug adherence before lunch. We all learned something new from the presentation, not to mention the chili and baked potato bar they brought was amazing.
We then met in the great state of Mecklenburg County and worked pulling weeds for the local day shelter’s organic garden. Even though it was ninety degrees and the air was thick the group pulled through, and literally pulled hundreds of weeds in a matter of an hour. Moving into the AC the group then made an art project for RAIN, an agency that serves thirteen counties and has in some way touched the lives of all the women in our group. We each painted small canvases, putting them together to form a modern version of a quilt that will hang in the RAIN waiting room as thanks for all the men and women they serve.
In just a few days we will sadly have our final meeting with the women. We are all very sad to see the group end. It also makes it harder when the women say comments about how this has been such a great thing and they don’t want it to stop. We hope to at least end it on a high note with a nice lunch and activities to reflect on all we have accomplished. Our hopes for this group are that through this experience they will realize the importance of service and do more in their communities. We feel like the women of the group have given gifts to us, and we hope we have given some to them in return. We know for sure that we brought together a strong group of fourteen women who will always be connected from here on out.

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