Posted by Heba Mohammad on May 15, 2017 in Blog

20170513_092927.jpgAn enthusiastic group of volunteers gathered at the World War II Memorial this past Saturday to celebrate the 13th annual National Arab American Service Day, an event organized nationwide by the National Network for Arab American Communities. Working with the National Park Service, Arab American Institute staff and volunteers---both new and familiar--- weeded and mulched near the Memorial’s entrance to keep the area clean and welcoming.

20170513_092656.jpgAs we worked, hundreds of veterans visited the World War II Memorial as part of the Honor Flight Network. Our NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassador, Serina, noted our volunteerism is particularly impactful on days like Saturday, when veterans who visit the monuments to reflect, honor their comrades, and to heal, can be welcomed by a perfectly manicured Memorial. It was an excellent reminder of why we engage in service projects on our annual Service Day and throughout the year: to improve the quality of life and its experiences for all people, even in small ways.  

Screen_Shot_2017-05-31_at_12.38.43_PM.pngPushing back against the cloudy weather, I left our service event feeling uplifted. It was a special experience to participate in my first Arab American Service Day with the incredible group of volunteers we had. Several people stopped to thank us for our work throughout the day on Saturday, and I want to add to their chorus of praise and thanks. To every volunteer who came out on Saturday: your efforts made an exceptional difference to a large number of people, including me. Thank you for your dedication, the camaraderie you offered, and for making a difference in our community.