Friday, May 6, 2011

Final Days in Summitville

In a nutshell, this year in Summit has been an exciting, roller-coaster ride of experiences.

As we dealt with different government organizations with privacy policies, and worked with a unique and respected nonprofit,  I have learned to appreciate a lot.  First I learned to appreciate organization and time management.  I think I did a good job applying myself equally between all of my projects this year, and with working with Isabel's House, But I know if Isabel's House wasn't nearly as organized as they are, we would have definitely had a harder time volunteering for them.    

Mostly, what I learned was just to appreciate what I have been given in my life, working with Isabel's house has made me realize how many children do not get the childhood they deserve, which in turn will affect their whole life.  Isabel's House is a way for some of these children to experience what being a kid is supposed to feel like. Just having the chance to work with a nonprofit like this and interact with some of these children has made me feel like I have touched somebody's life in a positive way.  Hopefully the kids at Isabel's House will remember what it felt like to be loved for a day.  

I think we are very lucky to have gotten to live in Summit, even though we live busy BUSY lives, especially with SIFE and sororities and double majors, Summit still instills some sort of responsibility for your wellbeing.  Its a way for you to not focus so much on yourself, but on others, who need your help.  

Looking back,  I would have decided on another service project for Summit,  I still loved being a part of Isabel's House, but it was obvious, that Isabel's House is not necessarily fit for Summit projects,  since you never know who will be at Isabel's House, it is hard to have a consistent schedule for volunteering at Isabel's House,  and since Isabel's House is a fairly new nonprofit, it is hard for them to identify new needs, because as of right now, they have everything they need.

I would suggest to future summiteers, to not use Isabel's House as their project and make sure the project they choose, is with a nonprofit that needs consistent volunteers and can identify a secure need that you can address that year.

- Em Johnson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One. More. Week.

1. My Summit Experience this past year has been full of surprises and life lessons.

2. Summit has taught me a lot of things that will be beneficial to the rest of my time at Drury. It has taught me how yo live with three other girls and still love each other after it all. I have learned better time management figuring out how to fit volunteering into my schedule. Also, I have learned a lot with living with boys above us; they really are messy. 

3. The greatest thing I learned from living in Summit Park is cooperation skills. Everyone was raised differently so it's difficult at first to live with three other people, but with a little patience everything turns out just fine. 

4. I feel that I have made an impact on the community by helping with Isabel's House. This area has the highest rate of child abuse; even higher than St. Louis and Kansas City. It makes me feel better that we were able to touch the lives of just a few kids this past year. We are so blessed and it is important to give back to the community to those that aren't so blessed.

5. If I would not have lived in Summit my experience at Drury would not have been the same. I would not have had the volunteer opportunities that Summit gave me. Also, I would not have had the chance to get to know a lot of people that I wouldn't have met if it wasn't for our Summit Socials and classes on Fridays. 

6. Looking back at the Summit Experience I would have changed the organization that we worked with. It was hard to schedule regular times to volunteer. I loved working with Isabel's House, but I was hoping for a more regular schedule. 

7. Advice for future Summit groups: 
  •          Don't let boys trick you into living under them instead of above them. They might think that girls are giggly and loud, but trust me...the way boys walk it sounds like the ceiling is going to fall in.
  •         Learn to turn the oven off after you are done using it.
  •         Clean out the lent thing in the dryer.
  •         Don't put dish washing sink soap in the dish washer.

We have been working on our gift baskets for the kids at Isabel's House to take home with them. Here is a picture of Em hard at work


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final Farewells - Last Blog

I would first like to say that I will sincerely miss ALL of our devoted readers...I know this blog has enriched the lives of countless individuals and I hope they can find closure.

But alas, as they say, on to business.

1. My experience at Summit this past year has been more about learning how to work within a group more than anything else.
2. I have gained experience in communication skills, especially with peers, that will continue to help me in my Drury experience.
3. I learned how to cook without setting off the fire alarm.
4. In the end, our project works with Isabel's House to make the kids feel comfortable while they are in a difficult situation. In essence, to make them feel more at home.
5. Well, I would not have had a kitchen. The commons probably would have killed me. Just kidding, I would not have been able to add a new skill set to my resume or build relationships with people in the Springfield community.
6. I might have picked a different project. Isabel's House is a wonderful organization but they are already given more help than honestly they know what to do with. I have learned that volunteers there actually end up being more of a burden on the staff than anything. I think I could have made more of an impact if we would have chosen Rivendale or another children's advocacy center.
7. Pick a project not based on how cool it sounds but rather how much you would realistically be able to contribute to it because you have it all year and doing one thing gets very very old.

So, that was it...farewell Andrew! It has been a pleasure writing to you.

- Amanda

Our Last Day's

Dear Summit Pals,

This year has been a great year! I am sad to be leaving such great housing and community. It has been real and fun and I hope next years groups will have as much fun and great experience as I have.

My summit experience this  past year has opened my eyes to major issues the affect the lives of children not only in the Springfield area but all over the United States.

Summit has been a great experience, it will help me be aware of all the efforts going on to make Springfield a better community. Summit has also motivate me to be involved in our community and to challenge myself to become more aware of what is going on. Summit has not only been a great experience but the greatest thing I have learned from living in Summit Park is that time management and commitment are two important things to know before you enter a program such as Summit. I have also learned that the crazy lady across the street is probably both a trash/belonging hoarder but also a cat hoarder. I feel like I have impacted the community by just raising awareness of Isabel's House. I don't know how many times someone has asked me "what have you been up to" or "what are you doing," when I reply "Isabel's House" they always ask "what is that?"

If I never got into summit I don't think my life would be any different I just feel like I wouldn't be aware of Isabel's House and  all the sad reasons why children are sent there. Looking back at the summit experience over the past year I would of changed the hours needed to be worked and turn it into a challenge of who could do the most hours. I think there would have to be a minimum amount of hour done but a competition would motivate people to participate and become more involved in their organization. For Future summit groups I would advise them to work with a workable project. Isabel's house was super awesome but at the same time it was hard because half the time they didn't need us and when they did we were barley with the kids. Other then the inconvenience of never knowing what is going to go on at Isabel's house, the staff worked with us and helped us help them.

I am really going to miss all the yummy Summit dinners but most of all I am really going to miss living with all of my wonderful roommates they were truly the best! I am also going to miss not being able to live where I get free laundry and a dishwasher! 


Isabel Angel,

Emily Kessler

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The end is near

This year has gone by so fast! This is our second to last Summit class everrr. Working with Isabel's House has been really fun, but challenging. They have a ton of volunteers which is a good thing but it makes it hard to find a time to come in and volunteer. 

The greatest experience in this past month working with the agency has been organizing the baskets that we will be putting together. This is what some of our $300 is going towards. We are making care packages to send home with the families of the children that stay at Isabel's House. This is specifically for families with babies. The packages will have things in them such as diapers, bottles, and onezies. 

The greatest challenge this past month has been finding time to volunteer. This second semester has been crazy busy, but it is almost over and we made it through. 

We are winding down with volunteering at Isabel's House. This experience has been very eye opening. I can't believe we are going to be moving out of Summit soon! It's been fun. 


Friday, April 15, 2011

A Challenge

Hello Everyone

WOW where has this semester gone? The spring semester has been challenging. They rarely have any children when we volunteer which is totally awesome, but it means they don't need us to volunteer. Sometimes when we go to volunteer they will make us do things such as organize dressers, clean out the play closet, or help feed the babies because they do not have enough children and the staff has it all under control. Sometimes they have to think of things for us to do and it feels like we get in the way.

The greatest experience in the past month has been brainstorming ideas on how we can use our money to help them out since sometimes our help isn't needed. We came up with an awesome idea to make take home bags for  the kids. Some of the stuff will include diapers, formula, pacifiers, and bottle for the babies and gift cards, cards, little fun things for the kids. For the rest of the year we want to continue helping out in anyway as possible and continue making goodie bags for the kids.

Have a wonderful day!

Emily Kessler

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pie a Pi Phi 2011 :)

Thanks to our wonderful philanthrophy chair Emily Marie Kessler we raise over $200 for First Book in an hour simply by getting PIED in the face for $2 bucks a pop! Pretty succesful I'd say!