Volunteer Service is a Wynne-Win!

On Saturday, June 27, the LEAP Ambassadors drove in from most parts of Texas to help out our adopted community of Huntsville. One of us drove from San Antonio, one drove from Tyler, one drove from Houston. Our destination was the Wynne Home, for an afternoon of painting and cleaning.

To build some energy, we stopped by the friendly and local confines of Mr. Hamburger, where some of had our first taste of this local favorite. We enjoyed the burgers and shakes!

Apart from exploring local culinary options, our mission today was to help out at the Wynne Home. The Wynne Home has a staff of 2.5 employees, and is, therefore, heavily reliant on volunteers. And in this regard, the Wynne Home is a hub of sorts in the community. The Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America assists the Wynne Home with its Ella Ruth Herb and Children’s Sensory gardens, the Friends of the Wynne support the arts at the Wynne Home (and in the community), and numerous citizens volunteer their time to serve on the Wynne Homes committees. So, it was an honor to help out by doing some touch-up painting in the children’s garden and some basic cleaning.

The Children’s Sensory Garden has a number of plants, and students are invited to touch, smell, taste, and even hear the plants and each of those sensory sections.

Among those plants are stones for hopscotch, and these were a little worse for the wear.

Hopscotch stones for the Wynne Home's Sensory Children's Garden.

Concrete mushrooms also grow throughout the garden, and these, too, had seen better days.

With improvement in mind, we tackled the easy ones first: the stones.

Intern Sebastian Morales paints at the Wynne Home.

The colors chosen by the Wynne Home staff were vivid, and even with just the first coat of paint, the colors were popping.

Although the temperature was only 93, it seemed much warmer. We estimated the humidity to be approximately 4,000,000, and so an unexpected challenge was having our sweat drip into the paint and dilute the colors. Fortunately, the Ms. Sarah Faulkner kept us hydrated, and we continued to plug away.

We quickly learned who was in the best shape, and to protect reputations, we will not discuss this matter further. Although we would note that we had to help Professor Yawn up the Wynne Home stairs after about an hour…

One of the nice things about painting is that it provide some immediate gratification, as you see the designs take shape and the colors become more vivid.

Following the painting, we turned our attention to the Wynne Home sign up front, which had weathered snow, ice, heat, humidity, and high winds, just in the last six months!

After much scrubbing, we were happy with the new-ish look, and we at times felt we were in the clouds!

It was a wonderful day. The Wynne Home was beautiful prior to the touchups, and we felt we had a little role in beautifying it further!

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s