Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 11: Make a Difference Day

Little things add up. ATM fees, for example. And chocolate chips. And the number of steps needed to burn off those chocolate chips. The same can be said for good deeds, and nowhere is this more evident than the United Way’s Make a Difference Day.

In case you, like I, have always wanted to participate in Make a Difference Day but haven’t quite gotten organized in time, rest assured that registering for this event could not be easier. The United Way of Larimer County website lists all volunteer events, the times and dates, and the number of volunteers needed. (This is also the site to check for information about donations or upcoming events any time of year.)

By the time I got around to registering, most of the positions had been filled (good for you, Larimer County!). I signed up to help Character Fort Collins present cards of recognition to other Make a Difference volunteers. Character Fort Collins is a community-wide initiative launched in 2001 to promote good character, which they define as “the inward motivation to do what is right.”

I joined CFC Executive Director Becky Dixon and CFC volunteer Marge in recognizing the efforts of a group of HP employees who were busy removing graffiti from a west-side neighborhood. After we (hopefully) made the HP people feel appreciated, we had a chance to talk with City of Fort Collins Graffiti Abatement Coordinator Nick Myers. This is a part-time position with a full-time work load. You may not notice much graffiti around Fort Collins. Or if you do spot some, it isn’t there long. This is largely due to the efforts of Nick and his helpers. Long story short, he is a 3-year resident with a lifetime’s worth of pride in this community.





Nick Myers
















The HP Team









The HP team then let me tag along (sorry for the pun) as they painted over graffiti at the vacant UBC lumber yard and the back of the former Wal-Mart on Harmony. They didn’t need my help, but I wanted to be able to say I chipped in a little. And I still have the paint on my jeans to prove it.

I imagine that graffiti abatement is like the labor of Sisyphus—the mythological king whose punishment required him to push a huge boulder up a hill every day only to have it roll back again at night. These days, maybe that would be called job security. Regardless, I was glad to see that as of yesterday afternoon, there was no new graffiti at UBC or Wal-Mart.


Before







After



Most of us are not in the position to make a Bill Gates-type donation to a charitable entity, but if we can give even a little of our time and/or money, it does make a difference. And if you ever see Nick out working to preserve the beauty of Fort Collins, tell him thanks.

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

You picked a great topic for this post, Jenny. And what an outstanding project the HP group chose. It is pretty nice to travel around our town and rarely see tagged walls and fences. Thanks, HP.