For my Policy (English & History) class we were tasked with doing three hours of service to an organization of our choice. This project was inspired by a field experience we did to Lincoln Park Community Center (LPCS). I had a great time doing my service, and you can read about it below!
After going to TedEx myself and my Policy class were tasked with doing three hours of service, and it couldn’t have worked any better. Durring TedEx we watched a speaker who advocated for public gardens with his slogan Grow Some Shit (see the Ted Talk here!). Meanwhile at GCE there was word of us starting a public garden outside the school so we could have access to fresh produce, and flowers. If this garden continues as planned I would hope we would be able to feed those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to healthy food, a human right that I think everyone should have.
To make this whole experience possible we were tasked with tilling the hard, trash-covered soil outside of our school in order to make it usable for summer when planting would begin. I’m happy that I was able to be outside with my friends working on a project that will impact many people in the future. I think I’ve got a new-found gratitude for where my food comes from and what people do to prepare and farm it. I also have a new sense of awareness that not everyone has access to fruits and vegetables, and that many low income residents in Chicago are located in a Food Desert. I would hope with more awareness on public gardens the amount of food deserts around Chicago (and all of the US) could continue to decrease until everyone has access to healthy produce.
I’ve noticed that there were a ton of different options of community service to pick from in Chicago: from tilling a soon-to-be garden, to serving at a soup kitchen. I’m hoping that what I did can have as big of an impact if not a larger one. This project has inspired me to want to do more help and I will definitely continue working on the garden at school. I’ve noticed that most kids tend to run away from the idea of community service (myself included) and I think that could change as I had fun with friends while helping!
I believe that being able to eat healthy food cheap (or even free!) is such a simple idea that could be solved for simply. Everyone should have access to such basic rights like water, shelter, and food! It makes me happy that what I am working on will one day help out many others, or even make other people want to do the same somewhere else.