Oct 3, 2006

Volunteer Fishing

In 2002 I sat in the DCCares orientation (a prerequisite to signing up for any of their volunteer offerings). The woman conducting the session said most of the 50 people in the room would never volunteer. I thought this was ridiculous but later found the DCCares system to be as competitive as the rest of DC. No matter how many times I tried to play with the kids at House of Ruth I wasn't a chosen volunteer.

After 6 tries, I put the whole volunteerism idea on hold until I saw the C.A.S.T. for Kids listing a couple weeks ago. Fishing opportunities of any sort get my attention, but being able to fulfill a civic duty simultaneously? I'm in. This is how I found myself awake and on I-395 at 6 a.m. last Saturday. The Cast for Kids program is based in Washington state and pairs special needs children with fishermen for a day of fun. Last Saturday was the first event in Virginia and took place at Pohick Bay in Lorton, VA, which, by the way, is a mere 45 minutes from Adams Morgan and is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.
Cast for Kids event
In a word, it was awesome. There were 40 semi-professional bass fishermen taking to the waters with about 44 enthusiastic kids and their parents. They all caught multiple perch. Being a part of this diverse community for a day was a welcome refresher to my daily life so full of people aged 25-35.
(Read The Connection's take on Saturday)

Hot on an idea, I'm now signed up to mentor a group of kids once per week in Columbia Heights (through Higher Achievement) for the entire school year. My first session is tomorrow night.

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