Doing Good = Feeling Good

A bunch of my civic-minded, labor-ready, volunteer-type friends, AKA The Ulterior Motive Mob, gathered Saturday to clean up River City Skate Park in the name of Seattle Works Day. It was a blast! Though I might be saying that because I didn’t have to use a shovel or a wheelbarrow. Being a Team Captain seemed to keep me occupied with finding jobs for everyone on my crew, locating tools, coordinating duties and, of course, updating social media with our progress.

If there was a word of the day it was: MULCH. I kid you not. When we arrived there was a massive pile of mulch that had been sitting for many weeks waiting to be spread. In those many weeks, it had rained a lot. You get the idea (soggy!).

Ready? Set? MULCH!

Add to that, knee-high grass overgrown around the sloping skate-ready walls, invasive weeds that grow weeds up to 7 feet deep and a poisonous plant that, if you were to touch it with an open cut, would leave a burn looking much like you’d rubbed supper glue on it (let’s avoid that one, shall we?!), we had our work cut out for us.

These babes did a bad ass job pulling up stubborn roots of invasive plants. (Side note: I met 3 out of 4 of these ladies thanks to the internet!)

Everyone pitched in. Even Mr. Darcy who now can be seen doing yard work which means we’ll have no excuse next weekend when my mom asks us to help her in her yard. (D’oh!)

He even got a blister. Soft artists hands aren't used to this kind of hard labor. (Just ignore his crazy face. He was possibly at the end of his mulching rope.)

It wasn’t all socializing and live tweeting for me. I swear! I have proof.

My grassy chucks should prove I engaged in some form of labor if you won't take my word for it. And no, I didn't just wade thru cut grass.

Everyone did such a tremendous job. Look at how much mulch we got rid of:

The mulch pile decreased by at least 75%.

More pictures of my hard-working friends:

Danielle spreading mulch. This was totally overgrown with grass when we arrived!

Carls picks up trash (minus the orange jumpsuit).

Terrell is very handy with a broom. (Best visual I have of the actual skate part of the park.)

Thanks to my friend, Frank, for being an awesome co-captain and all around great pal.

Co-Captain powers activate! Form of an awesome volunteer group!

I can’t thank everyone enough for taking time out of their Saturday to work so tirelessly on this project. Since the park is entirely volunteer run, it’s so important that we get out and help keep it up for the kids in that neighborhood. My nephew lives right near there and he already is using it to “skate” with his scooter. Time flies so fast, in no time at all he’ll be out there skateboarding, hair probably flopping in his eyes, pants preferably not sagging below butt level (What? An Aunt can hold out hope!). It means a lot to the neighborhood that we came out to help as evidenced by some of the neighbors stopping by to pitch in.

Despite everyone’s sore muscles and blistered hands the next day, I hope the members of The Ulterior Motive Mob feel good about doing good.

I’d love to hear about your own volunteering. When will you be volunteering next? How do you do good for your community?

I’ve got an upcoming fundraising dance-a-thon event benefiting another local organization that does great work. Stay tuned for ways to help and get involved in that. (Locals- do you like to boogie? You are going to LOVE this one.)