Tuesday, March 31, 2009

march wrap-up

Akk! Another month passed by without keeping my promise to myself of blogging more regularly. If only you could read the posts I've written in my head...

One reason that I was out of touch last three weeks is that I had a secret! And it is hard for me to keep such exciting news quiet, so I stayed home and told the cat. And Cliff (I figured telling someone in Nebraska was fairly safe).

The Sunday night, tear-jerker show, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Indianapolis. And they are holding an Extreme Food Drive for Second Helpings in conjunction with the construction of the house. Any food that we cannot use for prepared meals at Second Helpings will be sent to food pantries in the neighborhood (Martindale-Brightwood) of the makeover home.

Second Helpings provides 880 meals in that neighborhood every single week. We also redirected 131,000 pounds of food in the last six months to the Saint Vincent DePaul Food Pantry that serves the neighborhood. In the first two days of the Extreme Home Makeover we’ve collected over 800 pounds of food.

I am just amazed by all of the behind scenes things on this project. There is a staging area across Keystone (a major street in the city) in an industrial park. All of the trucks are queued up and ready to go. When I left Monday evening they were pouring concrete for the resource/library building and working on the basement for the house. One day later they were putting on the roof, running the electricity and putting in the HVAC system.

The show travels with a crew of 70, a security company and trucks of supplies. The community has stepped up with 3000 volunteers, donated goods and labor. All of the food for the volunteers and crew has been donated.

I am most impressed by the work that is being done in the neighborhood. Two abandoned houses have been demolished, several houses painted, tons of trash picked up, windows replaced and 1500 trees planted. It warms my heart to see some basic quality of life things that most of us take for granted being addressed. I can’t say enough about Estridge (the builder for the project) they’re doing things right.

view from the golf cart

I volunteered on Monday and had the best, yet most nerve-wracking volunteer job ever. I told them I'd do anything but drive. So of course I drove all day. I shuttled VIPs around the site in a golf cart. It was disconcerting to look over my shoulder and see a cement truck behind me as I crossed Keystone. My next job was driving the shuttle bus. Sarah Fisher was one of my passengers. I think I sweat through all four layers of clothes I was wearing having her as a passenger. For the record, she was lovely and didn't do any backseat driving.

I also have a media pass, so I'll be photographing the progress each day.

The Golden Gloves matches started this month - John Mellencamp's son is fighting this year adding to the excitement. I've had fun playing with the camera. I really need to take a class - in my spare time.

My favorite thing I did this month? Shopping with June Bug, Mom and Anna for JB's First Communion veil. I was searching for the perfect Godmother gift for such an important occasion - the veil was perfect.


Jamie Dawn said...

How exciting to be part of the home improvement project and nervously driving VIPs around.
Second Helpings does amazing work! Organizing so much food has to be an enormous task.
It sounds as if the entire project is meticulously organized, and that so much is being done to improve the surrounding community.
JB looks adorable is her beautiful veil. The veil is a perfect gift for the occasion.

Cliff said...

Wow, you are really something Nora. But as you say the family things are still the best.

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