As hundreds of thousands of people made their way down to the Washington Mall to watch the second inauguration of President Obama, thousands of others made their way to nearby Bethesda, Maryland, to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service and Volunteer Fair.
On January 21, 2013, the huge ballroom at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center was buzzing with activity as students and their parents came together to participate in dozens of different service project opportunities that were available.
New Dream and our Collaborative Communities program volunteers hosted "The Me, We, New Dream" mural art project. Students decorated pictures of themselves and attached cutouts of hands and feet where they had written ways to share resources and reduce their carbon footprints. Students offered to have a toy swap, donate clothing, turn down the heat and put on a sweater, get books from the library, plant gardens and trees, walk more, drive less, and be nice!
Connecting all the individual pictures and ideas created a beautiful mural and a powerful message of what each of us can do when we work together to reduce and shift our consumption habits.
Students and parents also had a chance to learn more about the Collaborative Communities program and New Dream's mission. Our information table was stocked with information about our new Guide to Sharing. Many were drawn to the table by the Share Spray video that played continuously on two computers.
By the end of an action-packed morning, folks came away from the New Dream project recognizing that sharing and reducing makes them feel amazing, wonderful, happy, caring, unselfish, and proud. Good lessons to carry for this year and beyond!
Mary Murphy is Regional Coordinator for Maryland with New Dream.