The Rapidian

Dwelling Place Volunteers Deck the Avenue!

Underwriting support from:

/Annamarie Buller

/Annamarie Buller

/Annamarie Buller

Volunteers last Tuesday, December 1st,  helped DwellingPlace haul out the holly, untangle the lights, and dust off the holiday cheer while wielding tempera saturated foam brushes at 13 different Avenue for the Arts storefront windows. The event: Deck the Avenue! garnered an impressive response, particularly considering that this was not only the first year for it, but the first event of its kind for the organization.

“In the past we’ve had people call us and ask for volunteer opportunities,” said Michele McIsaac, in charge of Fund Development at DwellingPlace, “but this is the first time that we’ve ever made the call for volunteers. And I think that it turned out great!”
 
The idea to decorate Avenue for the Arts originated within the conversations of a 20-something brain-trust which gathered last spring. The group expressed an interest in allowing people to have a first hand experience of the communities that the organization serves. Deck the Avenue! provides a way to connect not only with tenants and community members, but to connect them with each other in a fun, festive, and neighborly way.
 
Response came from Americorps members from Goodwill Industries, employees of the Community Foundation, youth from Arbor Circle, residents of Avenue for the Arts, and a handful of neighbors and Facebook friends. They assembled in the Foodsmith’s space on S. Division Avenue and divided into teams of three to four. Staff members divvied up the specific supplies for each different business, and led the teams to their sites. Businesses were excited to have them.
 
The event lasted from 1pm to 7pm, with many spaces officially closing by 5pm. Ever flexible, volunteers then disseminated wreathes to DwellingPlace apartment buildings, and allowed their creativity to explode on the windows of the vacant Foodsmith’s building. This was a great dose of cheer to warm up the space for Urban Lights, when it will house local artists and artisans selling their works and goods for Friday night’s Urban Lights event.
 
McIsaac continued, “What I see is that in five years from now, Deck the Avenue! will have grown. It will become a much bigger community event in which families can come down… after they decorate their own homes, they can bring their children to help decorate downtown, and really feel that they are a part of it.”

Also check out this video by Deck the Avenue! volunteer Amanda St. Pierre: http://www.therapidian.org/volunteers-join-dwelling-place-deck-division-avenue

 

 

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