A clear and crisp November morning dawned on Saturday, heralding ThunderCares Day. It was the chance many had been waiting for; an opportunity to toss aside endless readings, case studies and texts and take up a challenge of a more philanthropic kind. Eager first-timers arrived early ready to serve while the Thunder-tired from the GOGOs Halloween party slowly trudged up to the meeting point. They may have partied until the early hours, but that can never deter T-Birds from volunteering! Nearly 130 students turned out on Saturday to lend a hand. For many groups, it was an early start at 6am, rising with the sun. Others began closer to the saner Saturday morning time of 9am, which the partyers were probably grateful for. This semester saw 8 projects being run, all deftly organized and set up by the TSG.
First up was the Japanese Garden, an ever favorite, with students which involved cleaning up, trimming, and general maintenance. Next up was Valley Life which yielded the delightful surprise of breaking apart brick with hammers! The IRC Thrift Shop group helped to organize the refugee thrift shop & help the refugees sell items from the thrift shop. The IRC New Roots farming project saw a Tbird return of sorts, with the team helping with farming projects, chief of which was the expansion of a canal built by T-birds last time as well as making the land farm friendly by removing stones and preparing it for sowing seeds. Over at Umom, Tbirds helped to prepare, serve & clean up after lunch at a family shelter. No mean feat, as this small team helped to serve 300 people! The project at the Glendale Xeriscape Garden had students seeding the garden & cleaning up trash at the garden while at the Garden Adoption, Glendale, Tbirds became acquainted with flora whilst seeding wildflowers, planting trees and cleaning the hike paths.
As midday came around, tired yet happy Tbirds could be seen on campus eagerly exchanging tales of what they had done all morning. For once, students could be seen discussing “regular” things instead of anxiously talking of assignments to be completed and tests to be taken. Hopefully the next ThunderCares will entice even more students to take a day out of their hectic schedules to do a little good deed.
A giant shout-out to the amazing effort from the capable hands of TSG Community Outreach Chair Alejandra Fernandez, who made all this happen in just a few weeks of planning. Thunderbird definitely can’t wait for the next ThunderCares to roll around!