To Do: Day of Service

To Do: Day of Service

This was an uplifting and fun way to spend MLK Day! Rob and I signed up last week to be a part of the National Park Service volunteer day on Alcatraz Island.

On our groggy walk along the embarcadero, we had a chance to start our service a little early: helping an elderly woman who had been knocked down by a bicyclist. Rob directed traffic around the scene while I called 911 with the details. The fire department arrived quickly and the woman looked like she would be fine. We headed off to our real destination with one good-deed under our belt.

We met up with the other 40 volunteers at Pier 33 and rode the boat over to the island at 8:30 am. I’d never been before, so it was a treat. We spent some time listening to the volunteer coordinator, clapping for her 29 years of service to the National Parks, getting a little emotional about Obama and being very excited about our new park volunteer hats embroidered with “day of service” on the back.

Rob and I went with a group of 10 to work on the “agave path” area of the island, along the water and facing Treasure Island. We shoveled erosion, raked eucalyptus leaves and joked around until 12:00. This sign was my particular domain. Our finished product looked great!

As a thank you, the park arranged for the volunteers to get a special behind-the-scenes tour of Alcatraz. We saw the movie theater/chapel and got to walk around on the roof for a great 360 degree view of the bay. Plus, our ranger was so proud of the volunteers: he got emotional talking about the new president (most of the volunteers were there because Michelle Obama had asked) and seemed to enjoy telling onlooking tourists that our group had “served our country” that morning. Not too bad for a little bit of brush clearing!

You can see all our photos from the Day of Service online.

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