Yesterday was my first day of work.
For those of you who don't know, I'm now working with the domestic version of the Peace Corps, called Americorps. This federal program works all over the United States to combat social injustices like homelessness, literacy issues, general poverty, etc. I am specifically working with the Orlando government because our city was awarded a federal grant to implement a number of programs. I'm now responsible for recruiting and training volunteers, marketing, and community outreach for a program that has set up community gardens at inner city community centers. These gardens will be planted and cared for by at-risk youth as they learn about gardening, healthy eating, and the fact that there are indeed adults that care about them and can be consistent in their lives. Some of these children come from terrible backgrounds, and many have home lives where they may never have a parent home, or may not yet know how to read, or have enough to eat. This program has already proven to be very successful in its objectives in just the first year of operation, and I have a plethora of plans and idea for how to build on and improve from here.
So anyways, it's a job that may just be full-time but often requires additional hours at nights and on the weekends, as nonprofit agencies are often severely understaffed*. This may affect the blog for a little while as I get in a rhythm and learn to balance home and work life [which I've never been good at; I'm one of those employees that will work through the night if needed, regardless of additional pay]. Another enormous part of the job is the fact that those of us who work under this federal grant do not earn a salary...we earn a living stipend. This stipend is specifically set below the poverty level so that we can better empathize and understand the communities that we are serving. As a result, I'm not sure how my fabric-buying will be impacted. I'm lucky in that I've basically been living at this same level for the past year as I finished up school and lived on savings from previous jobs, but it will be a mental shift to know for a fact that I won't be getting a job that has a more stable financial background [it's only for a year, because that's the term of service].
*Please please please consider volunteering within your community if you don't already do so. It does so much good!
All that being said, I'm incredibly excited, and looking forward to soaking up all the education I can about nonprofits, because my goal is to eventually work in nonprofit management with at-risk youth, so the fact that my job entails grant-writing, media appearances, and corporate fundraising will be especially helpful!
Oh, and I plan to make a Banksia for my new professional wardrobe with some blue dressy fabric that I have in my apparel stash...I need more work clothes and I already have the pattern and fabric, so it's basically free, right?
All right, after all that personal mumbo-jumbo from above, I did a teeny tiny bit of sewing earlier this evening!
My brain is filled to the brim with knowledge from training, and whirling with the fact that I've landed myself in a bevy of local politics purely by the fact that I work out of City Hall and represent the mayor when I'm out in public. I wanted pretty much the easiest sewing ever for some mental breathing room!
Enter a baby charm pack, courtesy of the last round of the Pillow Talk Swap. No fabric cutting, woo!
Simple HSTs. They'll only finish at like 1.5", so I'm not really sure what to do with them yet. They totally worked for what I needed at the moment though!