On Friday, February 4th, City Year Seattle corps members rolled up their sleeves for a day of community service to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association prepare for their annual Hop-a-Thon. Together with our National Leadership Sponsor/Signature Service Sponsor team at Comcast, the corps members made big strides to raise awareness for muscular dystrophy.
Muscular dystrophy is a hereditary muscle disease that affects thousands of Americans each year. The Muscular Dystrophy Association, or MDA, has been in existence since 1950 and works to support those affected by the disease through funding research, medical services and community support. One of the ways they raise money is through the Hop-a-Thon, a disability awareness and education program that also focuses on teaching young children about acceptance and assistance for muscular dystrophy.
City Year assembled educational packets, divided Hop-a-Thon certificates and bundled stickers. The corps members kept up their positive energy during the day by having some of their own fun. Corps member Cori Hyde said, “The morning was almost like a race. All of the City Year corps members were split into teams and my team blew through all of our assignments. They kept having to give us more materials because we went through them so fast!”
Another corps member, Megan Hugel, laughed and said: “I liked stuffing packets because I got to see the amount of materials decrease and the completed packets increase.” By the end of the day, City Year made enough packets for both the Seattle and Tacoma branches of the MDA – about 10,000 packets total.
During the mid-morning service intermission, Dennis, a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease, came in to talk about the impact of muscular dystrophy upon his life and the support groups and medical services that the MDA has provided for him. He ended his talk by thanking us for volunteering with an organization that has such a positive impact upon other peoples’ lives.
After reflecting on her day spent at the MDA, corps member Sona Thinakaran commented, “While we were making packets in the morning, I couldn’t really see how stuffing packets was service. But after I heard Dennis speak, I was just really humbled by his story and the impact that the MDA has made on his life. And I realized that an important part of our service is doing work like this – work that motivates and encourages other people to help out with a cause.”
City Year Seattle thanks the MDA and would also like to dedicate a special thank-you to Comcast for giving us the opportunity to give back to our community.
Text by Andrew McGrath and Sherry Tiao, City Year Seattle/King County corps members