There is nothing like getting your hands dirty community service to really help center any nonprofit worker. Sweat earned out in the community giving back is just the recharge of spirit I was needing. After so many months inside on the computer or out at events meeting folks, it was time to put the muscles to work for others again.

I was so excited for this Compton Initiative workday. I can really stand behind a community that rallies around itself to hold itself to a standard and make sure it’s met. As listed on The Compton Initiative website,

“We believe that the transformation of Compton must be fueled from within the city limits, with the help of the organizations, businesses, and homeowners that reside here. We believe that love and care for the city will make a positive impact.

Our goal at The Compton Initiative is to give hope and pride back to the residents of Compton. As each home is painted and each mural carefully designed on the school hallways, we are taking back Compton.”

Rolling out with full family crew present at 6:15 am on Saturday morning, is always slow moving, but we make it to Compton City Hall and find our way to our site meeting location #94 Tibby Elementary School.

We are actually early so the rally has not started yet, we enjoy watching everyone is still arriving. The group swells over and over again. Even though we were preassigned our location we still came to the Compton City Hall for the morning rally. I think there is a power to see just how many people are uniting about something greater than themselves. It truly can be a jumpstart to a hardened heart.

The Compton Initiative Crew is fantastic about getting everyone hyped up and on focus for the day’s work ahead.We connect with all those coming out for Gamers for Good at the rally or via comms to direct them to the school site. Sent off in the right of mind and spirit for the task ahead we are on our way to the school.

You know you are in for a great day when at 7am Saturday morning you are flagged into parking by dancing Teenagers. Not only are they awake, but they are in great spirits and it’s contagious. After we park and gather our wares (lots of cameras and plenty of sunscreen for me) we make our way across the field onto the school playground.

There is already LOTS of work going on, several murals already completed, more in progress. Supplies are gathered in meeting points around campus by Site # of assignment. I located our Site Captain and we are assigned a building and instructed about what supplies are available and where to find them.

The buzz around the school is electric, everyone is in full swing or diving in to get started on our projects. Social media and press are very present with several camera and video operators as well as media and social media reporters for multiple agencies.

Our group is joined with a couple others, we grab our tools and paint and off to work. Naturally, some went for the rollers and trays and others the small cutting brushes to edge. Ladders and scaffolding are scattered so within minutes people are all at different altitudes surrounding the building. Rollers can be heard creaking across the ceiling of the overhang on all four sides, laughter and chatter fill the air. The transformation begins to set in almost immediately between not only the paint and the building but also all the strangers who are now co-workers in our task. Friendships are formed and relationships strengthened around common goals for the greater good.

I take the time to walk the campus several times throughout the day, not only to aid in the capturing of the good being done here today, but also to take in the scope of the transformation in both the campus and all of the 200+ volunteers working across Tibby Elementary School.

As each task is crossed off and crews condense and focus we are closing in on completion. While it feels great to succeed and see the school a symbol of pride for this community and a positive part of the children’s educational futures, we know that means our day is coming to a close.

Fatigue begins to set in a people slow just a bit and take those final moments to chat and exchange info to stay in contact as we gather up the supplies and clean the campus for the day.

I am so proud of the good work being lead across Compton, CA by The Compton Initiative and look forward to the next time we can participate to #JustDoGood.