Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Asheville Learning Links VISTAs volunteer for MLK Day of Service

A group of five Asheville Learning Links VISTA volunteers, sponsored by Asheville City Schools Foundation, came together for an MLK Day group service project on Monday, January 18th. AmeriCorps*VISTAs across the nation celebrated the day of service by volunteering in their communities.

The five VISTAs, Alexa Hardy (serving at NC Stage), Rachael Bliss (WNC Alliance), Courtney Gauthier (Center for Diversity Education) and Hanna Woody and Ashley McFarland (both at Asheville City Schools Foundation), met Ellen Shaw, the director of local non-profit Second Bloom at Care Partners on Sweeten Creek Road.

Second Bloom collects perfectly good flowers that are headed to the landfill and spreads them around to appreciative residents in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and Hospice.

VISTA group supervisor Joanne O’Sullivan, Asheville City Schools Foundation co-director Leah Ferguson and another community member also participated with their children at Hospice.

The volunteers gathered beautiful donated flowers and created 50 arrangements for the residents at the two centers. After creating the bouquets, the groups split up and individually delivered the flowers to each patient’s room, taking a moment to greet them and wish them a happy day from Second Bloom and AmeriCorps*VISTA.

The beautiful weather on Monday complemented the beautiful folks we met at Care Partners and Hospice. Thank you to Second Bloom for allowing us to complete a rewarding service project on MLK Day this year.

If you are interested in volunteering with Second Bloom, contact Ellen Shaw at (828) 252-4232 or visit For information on becoming a VISTA, visit

1 comment: