Wednesday, July 8, 2009

KEEN Bowling through One Brick

One Brick is as good as advertised because they are as they claim, "Volunteering Made Easy." Perhaps that is why it is so hard for me to write about their organization... Even though I spent a day working with them, it required so little background information and know-how that I need to do some research just to report on what I did.

One Brick was recommended to us by a friend as an easy way to do some volunteer work and meet some good people along the way. It is as simple as going to their website, perusing their calendar of opportunities, and finding a cause and a date that fits. In our case, it was bowling with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now).

KEEN is an organization that facilitates recreational opportunities for kids and young adults with physical and mental disabilities. After signing up online and receiving directions through email, we met our fellow One Brick volunteers and KEEN organizers at Strike Bethesda. Armed with only a name tag and lane assignment, J and I spent the next couple of hours in the joyful company of the KEEN kids. Whether it was memorizing everyone's birthday or learning a highly-involved pre-roll warm-up routine or just sharing smiles and hugs, the KEEN kids were a pleasure to work with and surprisingly good bowlers.

One of the added benefits of volunteering through One Brick is the opportunity to meet like-minded people, and while we didn't make any life-long friendships, it was certainly a good mix of people that I'd love to work with again. Now the question is, who will we volunteer with next time?

J Says

Many volunteer organizations require lengthy orientation and training sessions, and year-long commitments. One Brick is a way for the commitment-phobes to volunteer and meet new people. It fits nicely into our packed schedule and is a good way for DC newbies like us to make connections.

I love to bowl, so bowling with KEEN was perfect for me. The kids were inspirational and so much fun to be around. I'm eager to return in the fall to bowl with them again (the program takes a break for the summer months). I'm going to have to work on my game though because these kids can bowl!

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