My socks were soaked through and through, my sneakers were beginning to smell like mud and mildew, the MC Hammer-esque pants that the bus driver had lent me (since I had only brought shorts) were covered in mud, and the blisters on my hands from my days of rowing, were starting to rip and open up again. By the third hour, I was ready to go “home” and back to the dorm, take a hot shower, and sleep. But when 3:30 PM finally came around, I couldn’t help but to look around and nod in approval. The difference that we had made was immense.
See, the crew team (mainly Varsity with a few nauvice stragglers) got together on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM and drove an hour out to the house of a Union alumni, which had been thoroughly ruined by flooding from Hurricane Irene. Their basement and first floor had been completely wrecked, along with the shed in the yard of their home. Furniture (which was caked with mud and some mold) was stacked in their garage, and needed to be cleaned off, dried, and put into their basement which had recently, finally, been cleaned out. My job quickly became to hose down the furniture, hoping to jet-spray most of the mud off, and then hose it down once again once it had been cleaned off with sponges and rags by the various other crew girls. Some of the guys were working on the shed, to pry it apart so it could be re-built. This caused them to need to wear masks to avoid all of the dust which rose, and to really work their muscles to essentially rip the shed apart. Another group of people went to help out at the local church and shovel loads of mud and debris into wheelbarrows to be wheeled away.
On top of all this work that needed to be done, it was raining. And not happy, warm, rain – but cold, October, rain.
But I’ve never felt so proud to be apart of a team. We all essentially gave up our Saturday mornings and afternoons (we worked from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM) to help out these people who needed us, and we got the work done. This community service project was not required of the crew team – Each and every member volunteered. Despite all of us getting soaked and being cold, no one was in bad spirits, and we really did help more than I had even fathomed that we would. Plus, I got to bond with some members of Varsity (which I hadn’t been able to do since nauvice and Varsity practice goes on at different times.)
Just another reason that being apart of a sports team at Union is awesome.