By Kara Collier, Purdue University
We began the day by joining the CDC Climb team with their morning routine before we headed to our worksite. This morning routine was quite possibly my favorite part of the day because the passion and kindness of the employees and the resiliency and determination of the students shown through. They exchanged various inspirational quotes to get us pumped up for the day then as a group we recited their daily pledge that goes as follows: “I pledge to the Climb team, classmates, and myself to climb the ladder of success, to respect myself and others, to believe in myself and others. I will set a goal, make a stand, and achieve that goal. I will conduct myself with decency and honesty. I will be able to change myself and achieve my goals and climb the ladder of success.” This pledge really stuck with me all day and really helped me understand what this organization is all about.
At the Boys and Girls Club, we finished our projects from the previous day by applying a second coat of paint, replacing all of the cove bases, and painting on designs and titles in each room. It was great to see at the end of the day all of our work completed and to be able to compare the building before and after. Sometimes in the moment it doesn’t feel like a little paint here or there makes it look much different, but once you see it completely finished it is astounding at what a difference it makes. The club looked remarkably better, cleaner, brighter, and more inviting. The other rewarding part of this project was seeing the employees and children’s faces when they saw the new and improved building and hearing all of the gratitude and appreciation for our hard work. There’s no greater feeling than seeing that one small thing you did made such an impact on someone else.
Tonight for our social activity we went to a unique, local restaurant called “The Shed.” This is a BBQ restaurant that is one of a kind because it is, well, literally a shed. There were decorations and signatures written all over the walls, doors for tables, and BBQ food to die for. It was also great to be able to catch up with all of the other teams and hear all of the amazing things my new friends are doing in this community. This spring break experience would be nothing without the incredible people who are on this trip with me. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by the most inspiring college students from around the country and to get to hear about all of their unique experiences. I’m looking forward to tomorrow where we’ll be doing some outside work by helping to start a garden at CDC Climb!