In September 2009, I participated in the Seattle Day of Caring at my Music National Service work site, Meadowbrook View Apartments. Former Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels, along with his staff and several volunteers, also attended. Our mission that day was to plant grass, bushes, and flowers all around the community.
Meadowbrook View serves as low income housing for homeless families in and around Seattle. With a largely immigrant population, Meadowbrook is known as one of the most culturally vibrant communities in the city and over the years, efforts to beautify the apartment grounds and introduce a variety of activities that encourage community involvement has proven successful.
As part of the media coverage, The Seattle Channel TV crew interviewed a few residents and filmed everyone planting, laughing, chatting, and just having a good ole’ time! Some of the kids talked about how excited they were to finally have a picnic out on the lawn, and parents commented on how colorful and warm their community had become.
For me, kneeling on the ground digging holes, mixing soil, fertilizer, and breathing new life into a once neglected area was a fantastic start to my day. But as we celebrate Earth Day 2010 and as I reflect on Day of Caring 2009, I now have a clearer understanding of what it really was all about.
It’s about planting the seed of hope, love, and compassion. It’s about being there for someone else. It’s about showing people that on this planet of over 6 billion inhabitants there ARE people who really care.
It’s about realizing and acknowledging that there are more important things in this world than our problems, our life. Sometimes our happiness is about humbling ourselves and simply making someone else’s day.
It’s about being of service.
When I first wrote this blog back in 2009, I was inspired by one of my favorite songs performed by Jimmy Durante, “Make Someone Happy”
“It’s so important to make someone happy…one smile that cheers you, one face that lights when it nears you…make someone happy, make just one someone happy and you will be happy too..”
Day of Caring 2009 and Earth Day 2010 and every day from here on out, is the day to make someone happy. Let’s take care of our community, our earth, our home and we will be happy too.