Start of Summer

It’s officially here! No, I’m not talking about the latest issue of Spin magazine…I’m talking about summer!
Today is the official first day of summer…not that the air conditioning units haven’t been fired up before today, but today is when summer starts according to the calendar. Schools around the area are either wrapping up (Thank Superstorm Sandy for the late graduation dates, extra days of school in June, etc.), or have just finished for the year.
But, just because school is out doesn’t mean Pass It Along is taking a break (like everyone else out there seems to be doing now)…in fact, it seems like for the next twelve  weeks, we will be as busy as we were back in April!
Let’s start with the community gardens. There are two of them that Pass It Along works with. What is awesome about them? They feel local people at risk of hunger with produce grown locally and organically. Talk about awesome! Hands are always needed to water, weed, plant, harvest, till, mulch, and perform other totally “sweet” garden verbs.  (Get it? Sweet? Verbs…like herbs…ok. Just checking.) Check the website for dates and times, and get ready to get down and dirt-y!
Next, there is the ever-popular and uber -powerful Tilly’s Kids program. Kids from Newark come up to spend the day in the great outdoors, to get out of their concrete and asphalt environment, to open their eyes and hopefully their hearts to the idea that there is a world outside of the hardships and difficulties they face growing up in an inner-city. We need helping hands Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to be “buddies” each week for the children in the program. Check it out- if you come once, we promise you’ll be hooked.
Up next on the agenda, and so equally awesome, is the equine therapy program that we are so excited to be offering from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays. The program helps children of military families adjust to the frequent moves often necessitated by a military career. Working with and riding the horses can help relieve anxiety, stress, and other negative feelings that can be triggered by the uncertainty that moving often brings. Help kids who need a little extra TLC and get to spend time working with majestic, beautiful, and smart animals in this Wednesday program.
Now, how about The Nature Conservancy? Have you ever heard of them? If you haven’t, their name pretty much says it all…but just in case: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people, and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. That’s just what they’re doing in Warren County, and we want to help them by providing hands to help rebuild habitat for threatened and rare species, and to complete a reforestation project on land that was formerly farms. Sound like something you or someone you know is interested in? Sign up via the website. We’ll be out every Monday from 10am- 2pm helping out TNC.
Plus, let’s not forget all our regularly, year-long opportunities…yep, we’re still doing ConKerr Cancer, Pet Therapy, Manna House, Cooking for a Mission/Promise, SCARC softball, and all the rest. What are you waiting for? We need your help! Get over to www.PassItAlong.org, and sign up today. Better yet, sign up with a friend…better than that, sign up with a team…We could use all the hands we can get!
See you in the out-of-doors! We’ve got work to do.
Maren Morsch, AmeriCorps Program Associate
Click here to take a look at all of our summer programs in one convenient place!

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