By Ali Simmons — Feb 7, 2018 11:00 AM
Each quarter, our team spends a morning volunteering for a local cause. We try to visit different areas of Atlanta to gain new perspectives on the city we all love. Last year, we cleaned up a community garden in Vine City, removed invasive plants along the Beltline, planted trees in Dunwoody, prepped rubber ducks for a Special Olympics fundraiser, and cleaned cages and walked rescued dogs in Decatur. Our first volunteering opportunity of 2018 let us see a new community and help in a different way. For this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, we joined a large group of volunteers to help out KIPP WAYS Academy, a tuition-free public charter middle school located in West Atlanta.
This was our first time working at a school and it was a wonderful chance to see how KIPP WAYS shapes their students’ education. There were inspiring signs all over the halls about the students’ goals and what colleges they wanted to go to. The school was getting ready for an open house to show their students’ parents and donors how the school operates and what their children have learned in the past semester. There were teams of volunteers painting murals in the hallways, organizing books in the classrooms, cleaning up the campus garden, and making the classrooms and meeting rooms ready.
The Hannon Hill team took on an overpacked conference room and cleaned and organized it so it would be usable for board meetings. We enjoyed working with the teachers and administration and got a lot of satisfaction out of leaving the whole second floor organized, tidy, and ready to impress at the open house.