Over winter break (yes, I know that seems like years ago!), I was lucky enough to take the train to Northampton to see some friends. When I arrived, they asked me if I wanted to wake up the next day at 7 o’clock in the morning to go paint on trees in Boston. They assured me it would be community service.
The next morning, after driving for an hour or so, we entered into this huge factory building (hopefully now it’s clear that we’re not going to go do graffiti in a forest—we’re inside). We then walked into this enormous space (imagine the meetinghouse times 5) that had on one side a haunted house and a merry-go-round, and on the other side, there was a “forest” of wooden trees (picture below). So we took off our shoes, mixed some paint, and got to work! We painted for 3 hours, took a lunch break, came back and painted a couple more trees. While it may not seem like it, painting trees was a lot of work, but we were cranking them out at a rate of about 3 trees per hour. Altogether, I would have guessed that everybody at the event decorated about 100 trees in total.
Now you may be wondering how we were doing community service by painting on trees. Well, after the paint had dried, we carried the trees into an even bigger space, which was filled with tables and chairs for a thousand homeless children to eat a good meal. The painted trees and other decorations made the space light up and looked beautiful.
I had always wanted to do community service over winter break. Everyone was full of holiday spirit. So next year, if you happen to be in Massachusetts and in a giving mood, the organization is called Christmas in the City. Check out their website here: http://christmasinthecity.org/.