Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reaping the Whirlwind (in a great way!)

One might be forgiven for thinking that a couple of very selective and tidy mini-tornadoes touched down in two neighborhoods of Dayton last week. Within a very short time, indeed, the two lots in question – 1352 W. Riverview Ave and 1820 East Fifth St – were transformed into beautiful, attractive sites worthy of Better Homes & Gardens.

But the work wasn’t done by the force of nature; it was done by the force of volunteers who gave up their day to come to DXC and clear undergrowth, plant flowers, tend the East Fifth Street Urban Farm and generally straighten up. Another group of volunteers, just as large and just as hardworking, worked inside our main offices on Riverview cleaning, helping our teachers in the classrooms and helping serve lunch to the students.

All in all, over a two-day period (Thursday and Friday) we had 46 truly great people lend their time and talents to DXC for the United Way of Greater Dayton’s Day Action. The volunteers came from local employers Delloite & Touche www.deloitte.com, Teradata www.teradata.com, MCM Electronics www.mcmelectronics.com, the Berry Network www.berrynetwork.com and Fifth/Third Bank www.53.com.

On Thursday, eight employees of Fifth/Third Bank spent the morning in our classrooms playing with the kids, doing crafts, helping with lessons and even taking a field trip with some of the students. Some of even stayed beyond their noon schedule to help serve lunch to the classrooms. There were a lot of smiles and laughs with both the students and the volunteers during the day.

The students got a second dose of fun when about a dozen members of Deloitte and Touche LLP came in to spend their Day of Action helping out in the classrooms. Again, there were games played, slime made, dancing and singing along with some personal attention to lessons given. Other workers, from Teradata, lent a hand washing toys and doing some cleaning chores inside.

At the same time, volunteers from Teradata, and MCM Electronics threw themselves into the dirt, pulling up weeds, planting new flowers and spreading mulch over the gardens at our offices in Riverview. They ripped through the scrub growth like a hurricane, not letting even a brief rain shower stop them. In a few short hours, what was a disheveled, unattractive slope was transformed into a beautiful, landscaped work of art.

Meanwhile, back at the urban farm (on East Fifth Street), Fifth/Third employees showed their talents transplanting tomatoes, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and clearing encroaching growth away, ignoring the raindrops as their fellow volunteers over on Riverview. In addition, they did a ton of housework, clearing out accumulated trash from the old ESP building at the site and generally straightening the place up, all in four short hours.

There was even a second shift of seven volunteers from Teradata that came in the afternoon to provide the same landscaping services around the Administrative Offices next door to 1352.

As a result, we’ve got a pretty wonderful-looking place now and were able to meet a lot of really great people who we hope will be new friends and family members. No nonprofit organization can survive without volunteers, and it takes a lot of people spending a lot of very dedicated hours to keep DXC running. If it weren’t for enthusiastic, devoted people like the ones we had here last week, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide the services to the community that we do.

We never take our wonderful volunteers for granted. There just aren’t enough of the right words in the English language to express how much we appreciate everyone who spend the day with us Thursday and Friday, and what a huge difference they made for us. With that said, we offer what words we have:

Thank you all, from the bottoms of our hearts!

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