By: Raechel Banks, Rebekah Sedwin, David Thalenberg, and Morgan Weidner, Staff Team, Mitzvah Corps D.C.
Shalom from our nation’s capital!
We asked a group of teens on the metro this morning as we commuted to our volunteer site how long it felt like they’d been here. Without missing a beat, they responded, “a year.” And what a “year” – three days – it’s been!
In under 100 hours here in Washington, D.C., we’ve formed a new community of 37, quickly become experts at our volunteer sites, learned at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, explored the city, danced and sang, celebrated two birthdays, and eaten some pretty tasty local food. We could go on for quite a while and the full scope of these impactful days wouldn’t even begin to come through, so we thought some quotes from the teens themselves would speak best.
Here you are, in Mitzvah Corps D.C. teens’ own words:
“We truly are at a crossroads, and I’m grateful that this week will allow me to take full advantage of this realm of opportunity.”
“…During the week, we’ve all seriously been educated about actual issues (not that what you learn in school isn’t incredibly important, ‘cause it is, but this is completely different) and it’s just as different from school (so much better, too).”
“This week has brought me to new limits and experiences, and the learning never stops. We are doing things in the moment that we are passionate about, and we are hoping that what we are doing will make a difference. This week we are stepping out of comfort zones looking for things we like.”
“I’ve always been appreciative of my belongings, family, friends, etc., and participating in this Mitzvah Corps trip has simply reintroduced how important it is to recognize my own privilege and how fortunate I am. When I look back on this experience, as well as others I hope to partake in when this is over, I will remember both the fond and heartbreaking memories I have gained through this experience—be them stories I’ve heard, friends I’ve met, and more.”
These incredible teens have done more in 3-and-a-half days than some have done in 3-and-a-half years, or even a lifetime. They have touched the hearts and souls of many, from the less fortunate, to staff, and fellow volunteers, and we expect them to travel home this weekend to continue passing on their kindness, knowledge, and vision.
We’re looking forward to the second part of our trip, and creating another 3-and-a-half “years” worth of memories!