October 2014 – Making Signs for Playworks’ Students & Playing with KKI’s Patients in Their Activity Room

This month we had our first multiple event day, a real landmark day for Volunteering Untapped and a noticeable change for everyone familiar with us. It was great to expand to a second event and is a true indicator of the interest in volunteering among young professionals in Baltimore. Moving forward, we expect to run two events concurrently then have everyone meet at the bar for the afterparty. There will be some events that have a capacity at such a high number that we will not need to hold two events and we hope to continue growing the organization.

Our two events this month were with Playworks (www.playworks.org/communities/maryland) and Kennedy Krieger Institute (www.kennedykrieger.org). We were supposed to be painting games on the blacktop at MLK Elementary/Middle School, but the weather did not agree with our plans. It rained through the entire event. We were supposed to paint four square, hopscotch, relay race lines and a kickball field on the play area outside the school and hopefully we will get to do that another day. Once the weather looked bad, we hoped to paint the school gym but they were having it painted a few weeks later. Instead, we made signs for the kids who will be playing sports in the leagues Playworks hosts. These kids do not always get the encouragement they deserve while they are playing and the signs we made will be used to cheer on kids playing different sports in different locations for a long time.

Our other event was with Kennedy Krieger Institute and it was great to be back there with them. KKI was the location for our first ever event, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts for reasons beyond all of the incredible work they do. We worked with their patients who are all under 20 years old in their activity room. The nurses try to encourage the patients to do things in the activity room that are in line with their therapies. For example, if they need to work on their fine motor skills, maybe they’ll make a necklace or play a board game. If they need to work on their gross motor skills, maybe they will play catch. For patients who need to work on their speech, they will do a quiz game or something like that. We had a blast with the kids and it was hard to tell who was having more fun. We played Mario Kart on Wii, played catch with footballs, made necklaces and bracelets and just had a blast with the kids in their activity room.

It was a great day all around for everyone and we followed it up at Admiral’s Cup in Fells Point with drinks and good times. Saturday was a blast and we are already looking forward to our next event!