By Anthony Applewhite

For my service learning project I am helping to clean up and maintain the grounds and building.  I am also tasked with helping set up for special events and other such jobs.  The organization I am working for is the Vale Church.  Their purpose is to spread the word of god as well as to help those in need.  It is a decently small church with a very tight knit community.  Their history is very old, it is an old piece of land, it is an old building, and the people are all old.  Their mission and goals are to help spread the word of god and to help those in need.


I have learned that when doing manual labor, it is infinitely more pleasurable to talk to someone and just generally converse with friends than it is to do work in silence for hours.  I have learned that even though people care about the community not many can take time out to help clean it up, so that’s left for me.  I have done a ton of clean-up be it taking down tree branches, raking leaves, changing light bulbs, painting, power washing, stain proofing, cleaning, and much more.  I have gone from respecting nature to hating trees.  If I have the choice when I get a place to live there will be no trees near me.  They make WAY too many leaves and other problems to deal with.  I learned two things.  Number one is that even for such a small area of land, it requires copious amounts of maintenance and general upkeep.  The second thing that I learned is to never think you are done.  There is always something else to do or a way you can redo the original task better.  I would love to burn all the trees.  This way I don’t have to do any work to cut them down haul them away and mulch them then spread the mulch, I don’t have to rake the leaves that fall off when cutting it down, I don’t have to plan where to let it fall or to clean up the ground around where it falls including the indents, and most importantly I don’t have to ever rake the leaves again.  If I urn the tree it would look cool, it could toast marshmallows, and it would provide heat in the winter for a couple of hours.  There is not really an identified problem, just general upkeep.  They get volunteers like me to do it.


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