If there was one thing that I can take away from this past week at City Year New Hampshire, it is that we are no strangers to non-profits. Until coming out here to “The Shire” I was oblivious to how many non-profits are out there. Now I am realizing that non-profits make the world go round.
On Wednesday, I had my first experience with the B.R.I.N.G.I.T (Bringing Refugees, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow) program. There is something you should know about Manchester, NH before I continue: In 2008 About 6 percent of New Hampshire’s population were foreign-born refugees. Three-fourths of those refugees had settled down in the great city of Manchester. If you are curious, that was over 5,000 refugees living here. The number has grown over the past 2 years to 10,000. This is such a perfect place to have this program. Being at City Year has given me the opportunity to see the program first hand.
The program offers kids a safe place at night to dance, play soccer, do homework, and a few others things as well. I think the curriculum they picked is great because a lot of those activities have a universal language which can help bring people together.
Take me for example, when I first showed up on Wednesday a lot of the kids were a bit standoffish towards me. That is understandable since we do have our differences. But once I was allowed to play soccer with them, they began to warm up to me and even realized that we have a lot in common. I spoke their language(soccer that is). That night showed me that all people, no matter how different, have to have something in common. Imagine if everyone in the world realized that….imagine what could be accomplished.
Now after that great Wednesday I did not hear non-profit talk again until Friday. Friday we had Non-Profit 201 training. The whole corps learned more about the inner workings of City Year New Hampshire. We watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng about the social media craze that is sweeping the world. Things like this blog are helping to get the word out about City Year. So I encourage readers to pass this and other blogs on to your friends.
Finally Saturday came along; the fall service day that I helped plan with my fellow Young Heroes team member James Loomis. We worked with a non-profit called Fixit. The organization helps the elderly and disabled maintain independence and stay in their homes. We helped them out by working at two separate sites here in Manchester. My site worked to repaint the fence of a really nice lady. James’ site painted two sheds. With the middle schoolers help, we knocked out the projects without a hitch. Seeing how grateful the home owners were made it all worthwhile.
This week was very educational for me. I saw with my own eyes how just two non-profits, outside of City Year, could help so many people. It really makes me wonder what it takes to start one. I challenge you all to think of a non-profit you would like to start-up and leave a little comment about it. Who knows…it might just become a reality.
Here are some links with some more info about B.R.I.N.G.I.T, Fixit, and the city of Manchester:
Thanks for checking this out,