Weekend Well Spent

This weekend was a memorable one. I have been searching for ways to reach out to the community in the area around my college and it hasn’t been easy. Most events seem to be isolated events, so it has been hard to get into a good, consistent habit of giving. I had asked around and was told that there was a community center looking for some strong bodies who were used to power tools.

It sounded promising, and I’ve been known to lift a hammer or two. I headed out there bright and early on Saturday. It turned out that we were all volunteering to build a nice sized treehouse for the kids who use the community center. That was pretty exciting! They split us up into four groups: one group did the measuring and sawing of the boards, one group ran materials from place to place, one group did the hammering, and one group did the painting. I ended up on the team that did the hammering. It actually wasn’t too difficult. Someone had brought two portable air compressors that they’d found online here and we were able to run some pneumatic air guns from them. These were great because we were able to just run them with an extension cord and wheel them wherever we needed to be. I’ve never used a nail gun before but it was a quick learning curve. So much easier than having to do everything manually! We had the majority of the frame up by lunchtime. We all took a break to eat (the crew that was assigned to painting also ran the BBQ grill and passed out the food) and got the walls up shortly before 3. The roof was last, and probably the most time consuming. It was not my favorite because it didn’t feel so terrible when we were laying down the floorboards, and I really didn’t notice it at all when we were putting up the walls, but boy did I notice how high we were up on that roof!

I’m not going to lie, I said a prayer for myself and the other workers so that we would be safe in God’s hands while we did His work up there. It felt like the longest part of the day, but honestly, it only lasted about two hours. I was pretty happy to climb down, and it wasn’t just because my job was done! Then the paint crew started up—the kids were part of this group—and they were really excited. The community center bought a bunch of small sample size paints, so the kids were able to pick a favorite color and they painted it however they wanted. It made for a very colorful treehouse, for sure.

I hung around for a while longer to talk to everyone. The director of the community center is a nice guy and took my phone number. He said he was going to look into some program openings and see if I can get something more permanent there on Saturdays. I really hope something comes of it. Everyone was so nice and the kids were so eager to have a sincerely positive influence in their lives.