Saturday: First day of AB

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Made it to B-more!!!

Yesterday, Saturday March 18th, the A-Bmore team all met at UMD and departed for our AB trip around noon! With our vans packed with duffel bags and sleeping bags, we were excited to finally head to Baltimore! Since we’re relatively close, the one hour car ride wasn’t that bad, definitely bearable. We made it safely to our home for the week, Lovely Lane Church, at around 2pm. We were given a tour of the beautiful and historic church and were all surprised! We’re sharing the church with another school but they didn’t come yet so we had the church to ourselves last night. After the tour, we settled in and made some lunch, getting accustomed to our duties and workspace. After that, we headed to Safeway to pick up some last minute groceries. We then headed back to the church for some reflection time, going over our community guidelines, getting our t-shirts (free clothes, woohoo), and doing some group bonding activities. We had to fill out a template that had various sentences regarding our upbringing, and it was formulated in a way that allowed us all to have some laughs and also some insight into our lives. This all happened in the church’s library, which is a cute and reflective workspace. When we finished with our reflection, we headed to our room for free time. Some of us decided to read a book, some napped and some couldn’t give up the electronics and headed to Netflix (cough, me). Halfway into our free time, the assigned chefs for the night went to go cook dinner. We all ended up a little too excited and almost everyone went down to go help with dinner. There were some performances, including singing and dancing during the making of dinner, which made it nothing but more fun. For dinner, we had pasta with sauce and salad. We all ate dinner in the community room and then before we got the ‘itis’, we went back to our room to have a game night. We played Mafia, which revealed some good liars, and various other icebreaker games. After a couple hours of talking and playing, we all decided to sleep for the night. After showering and getting comfortable, we ended up sleeping around 10-11pm. Great first night in Baltimore & nothing but excited to see what the rest of the week brings us!!

Faduma A.

February Pre-Trip Service

On Saturday February 18th, we volunteered at A Wider Circle in Silver Spring, MD. A Wider Circle, founded in 2001, is an organization that provides free clothing, furniture, and career readiness training to those in need. They do amazing work and I’m so glad that they’re located near our community! Our main duty as volunteers that day involved the many donations that the organization receives from the public. When we arrived at A Wider Circle’s facilities, we were split into three groups. The first group sorted children’s clothing, the second group sorted housewares, and the third group helped remove donations from the donators’ cars. I was in the group that sorted children’s clothing, which I really enjoyed doing. Something I really love about A Wider Circle is that they have high standards for the donations they accept. They don’t allow broken or stained donations to be put in the showroom for families to browse. I’ve worked with other organizations before that gave items to those in need that were not of good quality, but luckily that was far from true with A Wider Circle. Most of the clothing I saw was top-quality and I know parents will appreciate finding them. It was so nice to volunteer as a group and I can’t wait until we leave for Baltimore later this week! – Cameryn