Albuquerque kids improve Barelas Senior Center
Posted at: 07/12/2012 7:03 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The beginning of the summer was looking bleak for Albuquerque 8th grader Fernando Rivera.
"I was going to stay at home, watching TV - vacuuming but then I decided I want to do something outside," said Rivera.
That's when Fernando volunteered for the first ever Albuquerque Summer of Service program (S.O.S) for kids.
The group's priority is finding environmentally friendly solutions to community needs.
"We decided to make this project to help the community and the senior citizens right behind us," said Rivera.
The Barelas Senior Center is right across the street from a new community garden where seniors can grow their own fruits and vegetables.
But there was no where to sit and rest - until now.
The group of 25 students came up with a concept for custom-made benches.
They designed and built the benches from the ground up, using environmentally friendly materials.
7th grader Elena Estrada says helping seniors has been an awesome experience.
"If they get tired they don't have to walk back over there, they can just sit on the benches and have a good time like maybe eat lunch," said Estrada.
"We hope that they have a great sense of what it means to be an environmental citizen and a citizen to us and the kids means a community problem solver," said program instructor, Adesbah Foguth.
It's a much better challenge for Fernando than spending his entire summer watching TV and pushing a vacuum.
A long lasting lesson for these future community leaders.
"I'm so lucky to start at a little age to start helping the community knowing that you're making a difference. We've met a lot of people who have made a difference and so it kind of encourages us to do it," said Estrada.
This is only one of a few other projects the kids completed this summer.
Summer of Service is affiliated with the Earth Force Organization.
The organization hopes to continue to grow and get more kids involved in community service.