Serve-a-thon is City Year Boston’s premiere fundraising and physical service event. Happening on May 30th this year, we will engage 1500 volunteers in one day of powerful and transformative physical service.
Below is a Serve-a-thon testimonial from service leader Cory Lowe, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. Cory is currently completing his second year in City Year leading a team of corps members on the MFS Investment Management® team serving at the Shaw Elementary School in Dorchester, MA.
For more information about Serve-a-thon, please visit our website at www.cityyear.org/bostonserveathon, email us at email@example.com or call us at 617-927-2466.
By Cory Lowe
I grew up in a very religious community just outside of Salt Lake City. From a very early age I learned the importance and the joy of community service. My family expected me to serve a full-time two year religious mission when I turned 19, but shortly after my nineteenth birthday, I decided this wasn't the path I wanted to follow. However, I knew that I wanted to pursue national service and immediately began looking for other service opportunities. I found City Year and thought it was the perfect chance for me to take part in something bigger than myself.
When I arrived at City Year, I was placed on the Young Heroes Team, which provides a Saturday service program for middle school students. The Young Heroes program had a large part to do with my decision to do another City Year. It wasn't until the last month of my service during Serve-a-thon that I truly understood my decision.
For Serve-a-thon 2008, I led a group of volunteers in refurbishing a community garden that was very heavily used by the local community but was in disrepair. My fellow City Year Corps Members and I served alongside community members from the area. It was quickly evident that the community members were heavily invested in improving this garden because it was an important asset to their community. It was hot, but we all sweated and toiled as if we were working in our own backyards. And for many of the community members, this was their backyard.
As we finished up, a young lady announced to all the volunteers that City Year had not only transformed this garden but had an impact on the community and her son, who served as a Young Hero this past year. This was a middle school student who had participated in the workshops and discussions I had helped plan and facilitate. This was a student, I then realized, that my work had had a direct impact on.
I looked around at the garden we had worked on so hard that day. It all came full circle for me and I realized that City Year doesn't just impact me or the Heroes that I mentor, but it does what Robert Kennedy refers to as a ripple. Through serving together you begin to break down stereotypes and barriers. You treat each person as if they were your brother or sister, you care for their gardens as if it was your own, you give a little of yourself for the good of everyone. That day, I felt how City Year has a positive effect on every person it touches.
Each time a person stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others…
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,
and crossing each other from a million different centers
of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current
that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy (1925 - 1968)