Hello! I am Kelly Joy Williams, I am a First Year VISTA serving with The LEAGUE Michigan, at HandsOn Battle Creek. HandsOn BC is a unique program that focuses on building a strong community through volunteerism, they have a 211 center and create meaningful project in a broad spectrum that bring people together to promote the common good.
Battle Creek is an amazing place to be right now; as this gives me an open canvas to be creative and innovative when coming up with projects to help my teachers promote service-learning. I serve in a generous community here at HandsOn, they have developed numerous partnerships, partly due to being under the United Way umbrella. Therefore, recourses are not a problem when looking for an ideal place to pair a class with. For instance, in the last five months a Consumer Science class at Calhoun Community High School (alternative education) has been welcomed into two nonprofit pillars in their community. There, students absorb a hands on experience while being educated on why this nonprofit exists, and who they help in their community. Students see the faces in the community who have had needs that they have assisted with. This class has distributed winter coats to families in need, they have served lunch to the homeless in an area soup kitchen, and they have organized clothes for a free clothing store. It has been amazing to see this group of students’ reaction. Mrs. Ryan, their teacher said “I am astonished how these kids with so many needs of their own are happy and willing to give, most of these kids come from this and to see them give back, makes it worth all the effort to get them here.”
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!