Alternative Day of Service

Several times during the year, the RMC volunteers spend a day participating in an alternative service project.  This allows them to see different ways which they can serve their community, as well as allows them the chance to engage in service together.  Mary Clare reflected on their September service experience:

On 9/19 we had our first Alternate Service Day. All four of us RMC’s spent the day volunteering with the Nationalities Service Center. They describe themselves as a “non-profit organization that provides social, educational and legal services to immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area.” One project that they are involved in is Growing Home Gardens. These are gardens that are built to “provide a safe and peaceful space for growing nutritious and traditional food crops in the heart of the city.” They began when refugees from Burma and Nepal were being resettled in South Philadelphia Neighborhoods. These gardens give them a place to go and grow crops, both to eat and some of the plots are used for them to sell and create an income. 

We spent the morning building individual raised gardens. It was amazing to see an empty plot, in the middle of an urban city, being turned into what will be a beautiful garden. One woman was telling us how she believes these gardens have helped lower suicide rates within the refugee population that they are working with. The gardens aren’t just for food but they also bring a sense of community and joy to those who get to enjoy them. We loved being able to work outside and it made it ten times better that we got to help such an amazing organization!