I recently had the pleasure of participating in a Day of Caring for Stepping Stones Youth Home, one of our United Way member agencies. Never having taken part in one of these before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, even though I knew it most likely involved physical labour and hard work. Arriving at 8:00 am on a beautiful, sunny morning I was anxious to get started. Lynn, the Executive Director for Stepping Stones was there to greet us with hot coffee and fresh muffins and donuts.
An executive team from Syncrude brought all the supplies needed for the day while bricks, soil and stones were donated by a local company (Burnco Rock Products). The plans were to move and construct a new area for an existing vegetable garden, build a low brick wall around a smaller garden, trim trees, paint doors and repair a fence that was missing more than a few boards.
Once everyone arrived we broke into groups and were assigned our tasks for the day. I was happy to be working on the smaller garden, weeding and preparing for the new brickwork. I knew some of the volunteers already but I enjoyed meeting people I hadn’t met before. Trying to keep their names in my head was probably my most challenging job of the day.
As a surprise, Syncrude presented Lynn with a brand new, top-of-the line barbeque and utensils for everyone at the group home to enjoy. It was a very heartfelt moment. One of the groups was in charge of assembling the barbeque and they did, just in time for lunch. We all enjoyed yummy grilled hamburgers, salads, chips and chocolate treats compliments of Stepping Stones.
I have to say, I really, really enjoyed my day out in the fresh air, helping to improve the yard and gardens at this wonderful place. Meeting new people and learning more about this great organization and what they do to support our youth, helped me to really appreciate even more the community we live in here in Fort McMurray. The feeling of accomplishment I felt and the pure joy on Lynn’s face at the end of the day was worth all the sore muscles I would have. The community spirit I experienced is also one of the things that will keep me involved in helping with many, many more Days of Caring.