Camden's Raleigh employees gather at historic Pullen Park to help the renovation project. Pullen Park is scheduled to reopen in 2011.
Remember the movie Independence Day with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum? There was a single moment in the movie after the attack when you question the success of their mission. As you ponder the possibilities you see a blazing hot dessert with the sun beating a blurry image and from that unnatural heat appear the hero’s. They have a valiant gate and the camera slows as they allow you to fully immerse yourself into the moment.
Camden Cares in Raleigh on Friday September 24th was sort of like that moment. There is power in numbers and a group our size could be very helpful. Imagine if 50 people showed up to help you clean your house. The Camden employees from seven Raleigh properties emerged from a blurry image of unseasonably sweltering heat wearing matching “Live Green” bedazzled shirts. Collectively we decided that for this moment…we are the heroes in the movie. WE are the ones on a mission and we fight for the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department. We will wrestle the heat…take on the sun…and make that fence look new again! WE ARE ON A MISSION!
It was reminiscent of an epic movie as each and every volunteer suited up with latex gloves, a one inch disposable foam paint brush, multi-layered verbal instructions, a cup of black oil-based paint and a team rally cry. Out of 30 or so sections of fence to be painted that day, there were only two blessed with a hovering tree providing shade. Those precious shaded sections were the farthest from where we stood and since it was hotter than popping eggs in a frying pan, they were coveted by all. There was an all out Olympic sprint to claim that section.
Raleigh's fearless leader Ken Sherman shows us how to use the "spongebrush".
A huge job that would have cost thousands of dollars was knocked out in two and a half hours. In a society where people and organizations give money and donations to various needs, it is an extraordinary gift for people to give of their time. Of course nothing is fun or exciting unless there is a challenge. This event was a challenge. There were aspects that tested our endurance and patience. The small, sticky, ill-attached foam paint brush was one.
At the very end of this long row of fencing, there is a glimpse of shade covering two precious sections of fence. This fence is being restored by Camden’s fastest Raleigh employees.
The foam brushes permanently stuck to our gloves was another. There were beet-red faces, newly decorated black polka dot sneakers and freshly painted jeans but we did it! We did our part and made a HUGE difference. It was hot, it was challenging but it was completely worth it. The day brought lots of laughter, vitamin D and even more pride in our contribution.
Pullen Park in Raleigh has a beautiful setting with unmatched history. When renovations are completed next year I shall return to gaze upon the sections of fence that received my service. I will remember the feeling of successful contribution and I will grin. Camden
found yet another avenue to enrich the lives of their employees. Our parents would be proud that we followed their guidance and left it better than we found it.