Monday, November 2, 2009

It was October. This is Chicago.


Dear Friends,
This is Team Chicago's first post! Very exciting. In fact, almost as exciting as the hugely fun and helpful events we have planned and been a part of.

First off though, let me start with my agency and tell you how much better we are than your agency. Test Positive Aware Network, or TPAN, is based on the northside of Chicago. Our staff and volunteers form the most diverse team I have ever been a part of. Most are HIV positive and identify as sexual or ethnic minorities. Though this is unsurprising, the amount of effort and genuine passion each and every member of the team have for our client base is inspiring. Every day I come into work is another day I discover new lengths that they will go for our clients, new problems that they will overcome, and new venues that we can use. Not to mention that hilarity ensues everyday from coworkers who enjoy working together. TPAN is like Voltron. Together, we make a huge difference. If you have never watched Voltron, reassess your priorities.

On to Team Chicago's October.

1. Team Chicago got a new city supervisor in addition to Cynthia! Melissa has come into her job and become a part of our team in no time at all. She is our go to lady and we all appreciate her very much.

2. Our October started with AIDS Walk Chicago on the 3rd.
The race is a 5k held every year by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and is a major fundraiser for the city. Our team woke up bright and early to help out with the race which has raised over $2 million since 2001.

3. For Make a Difference Day, Team Chicago headed over to Regina's host agency, the Southside Help Center, where we spent the day making thousands of safe sex kits, which the Help Center uses for outreach and prevention. The Help Center was very grateful and we were happy because nothing builds strong teams like stuffing condoms into plastic baggies as demonstrated by the pictures below.


4. Proving that we are indeed the best Team, Maggie paid us a visit this past weekend, and our fifth day was spent with her. We spent time talking about our Team and what the NAF can do to support all of their AmeriCorps members. As always, she was helpful and we had an awesome time. She got to have a site visit and meet with our city supervisors. Moreover, she guided us with early planning of our long term project. Melissa, our new city supervisor, is also in the picture below. And Maggie's hot new hair.


Overall, our October went very well. As a team we have definitely gotten closer and more effective. Our Fifth Days are becoming more helpful as well. This Friday will consist of street outreach and education. I think I can speak for my team when I say that so far, my AmeriCorps experience has consisted of physically exhausting hours and emotionally taxing situations, and I don't care because it is awesome.

Update soon.

Best,
Arun.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Voltron, Arun? Voltron??
I'm sort of mad at myself for being thoroughly amused by that.