SERVE SANTA MARIA 17 REPORT - April 2019 Day of Service

So let me tell you what I saw today.  There are many SUPER HEROES in our community.  At the Maldonado Youth Center we amped up on coffee, juice and donuts.  The donuts were donated by Donut Time on North Broadway.  Then after a short opening we PRAYED.  Terri Zuniga and Pastor Jorge Chavez from the Serve Santa Maria Leadership Team prayed in English and Spanish and we went out to serve.  Thanks to the Salvation Army for the lunches we received and Pepsi Distributors for the water.

Just north of the Maldonado Center is where two projects were happening. Carpenters Union 1800 from AG donated their labor to renovate the shade structure of the Santa Maria Lawn Bowling Club  The materials were about $1,700 but thanks to Lowe's we received a few hundred dollars off.  Who knows what the labor would have been.  There were at least 10 professionals carpenters donating their time.  Wow!  

Outside the Lawn Bowling Club is where some new landscaping was put it.  A group of volunteers got it all in.  A great job for even the younger crowd.

Then I headed out to Temple Beth El.  There were 70 or so people working hard on this project.  This was not an easy job, but I didn't hear any complaints.  They were pulling junipers out with a big chain hooked up to a truck!  When they started pulling the stump, roots groaned and snapped and out they came!  This was a massive effort.  While I was there a man came up to me and said, "I work at United Rentals.  We have a piece of equipment that could help here.  I called my boss and he would like to help and become a business partner of Serve Santa Maria."  I told him, "Great, go get the piece of equipment and thank your boss."  More on this later.

Next I headed out to a home where Serve Santa Maria was helping clear a backyard full of STUFF.  Three dumpsters later the backyard was clear.  A new start and a weight lifted. Thanks to Hugh Bedford of Bedford Enterprises who donates the dumpsters and thanks to the city who waives the fees for Serve Santa Maria efforts.  A win for everyone.

We had volunteers working at two schools where the United States map was painted.  Tommy Kunst Middle School (left picture) and the Children's House Montessori School and the Family Partnership Charter School (right).  It's fun learning geography when you can stand in the state.  Thanks to Home Depot who gave us a generous discount. 

Nearby we had another project of spreading bark at Preisker Park. But due to all the rain we have had, some serious weeds needed to be removed as well.  The weeds were 3-4 feet tall. But our volunteers were digging them out!  Former city manager Rick Haydon told me several years ago that Serve Santa Maria had saved the city over $100,000.  By now, I would suspect we are approaching $200,000.  Do you realize all the man-hours that are saved by the work our volunteers do?  It's phenomenal.  Another win for everyone!

So after all that hard work, what do you do?  You have a picnic! Those sack lunches prepared by the Salvation Army hit the spot after some serious labor!

Further south at Carmen Lane  (near Blosser) a new open space being developed through the Park Department.  Over 20 trees were planted by our volunteers (picture at left).  Other volunteers painted over graffiti near that same area by the railroad tracks.  These efforts are saving our city money and giving people like us the opportunity to take ownership of our parks and city.  Everyone wins!

So I headed back to the Lawn Bowling Club to see how the carpenters were doing.  They were finishing up and the folks at the Lawn Bowling Club were so grateful for all the expert help they received.  It was first-class!  The lawn bowlers would be happy to have new players.  If you are interested, stop by some time.  It looked like it could be fun.  Outside some other volunteers were finishing up the planting around the Club.

Finally I got back to Temple Beth El.  Many of the volunteers were leaving.  I hope there are not too many people who will be sore tomorrow.  Many volunteers worked their __________ (fill in the blank) off.  I talked to the people of Temple Beth El and they were very thankful for all the help they received.  It was a massive effort.  In the opening I said that we were going to do some outrageous loving today.  I think we did just that.  The landscape that was removed was installed in the late 1960's. In time they will get a fresh new look. What a wonderful gift we gave to our Jewish friends.

Greg from United Rentals parked his massive truck in the street and unloaded a tractor that was awesome.  I asked Greg what it would cost to rent something like this.  He said $1500-2,000 dollars for a day or so.  Thank you, United Rentals.  Serve Santa Maria would welcome you as a business partner for future events.

Isn't it amazing how God opens doors and works through us?

I want to say thanks to Thrivent Financial as they funded 5 projects through Thrivent Action Teams at $250 apiece. Thanks to the media (Santa Maria Times, KSBY, KCOY) who covered our event.  Jim McGinty Tree Service also deserves a shout-out for taking down a tree that was becoming a liability to a resident.  It would have cost over a $1,000, but he did it for free.  We have some very generous people in this community. Thanks to you all.