Hey my dears! I just wanted to give you a quick update on what I've been up to in the past few weeks. The annual Mission Year Gala was held two weeks ago at the beautiful Callanwolde Arts Center. There's something magical about the big mansion, which was built in the 1920s. I felt like I might accidentally walk through a doorway and find myself in Narnia. The event was a fundraiser and had great music, food, photos, and a silent auction.
One of the gorgeous rooms set up for a silent auction
Last Wednesday, I went in for more medical testing. I had 3 MRIs, an echocardiogram, and a 24-hour halter monitor. The echocardiogram was actually kind of fun. I felt like a pregnant woman except instead of looking at a blurry black and white picture of a baby, it was my heart, pumping away. The other tests weren't too bad, except I had to get two separate IVs! :( My poor inner elbow... (does it actually have a name??) I'll go back to the doctor's office on the 31st for all the results.
This weekend, the Atlanta Mission Year teams volunteered at a big conference. It was pretty fun, but slightly chaotic. We had the opportunity to attend some of the workshops. I went to a really good one about the differences between ministering to Urban Youth and Suburban Youth, as well as a workshop on helping urban children and teens who have been abused.
I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but Green My Hood (my new service site) is sponsoring a community beautification project - a 661-foot-long mural along the main road in our neighborhood. On Saturday morning, over one hundred people came out to help pick up trash, tame abandoned lots, and prime the big wall in preparation for the mural. Unfortunately, my team and I were unable to be there because we were at the conference. But I was excited nonetheless that so many people were willing to help make a difference in our neighborhood! And they did indeed make a huge difference. The mural hasn't even been painted yet, but the pale-yellow primer already has had a brightening affect in the neighborhood! I'll soon post some pictures to give you a better idea of what my neighborhood looks like!
After the conference on Saturday, my team and I returned to our neighborhood and helped set up for the Green My Hood Neighborhood Donor Night. This event was a reception for people in the community who have donated to the mural project. There was wine, cheese, and desserts, all made delicious by the presence of some wonderful people.
The donor night, held at our local coffee shop
In other exciting news, two days last week, I was able to go with some of our attorneys to the capitol building to listen to the Judiciary Sub-Committee Meeting and the hearing for House Bill 402. This is a bill that will change access to criminal records so that people who have been found "Not Guilty" of charges won't be haunted by them for the rest of their lives. One of our attorneys has played a major part in shaping this bill and getting it this far along in the process. The following article, written by the Executive Director here at the Georgia Justice Project, was published yesterday's Atlanta Business Chronicle! This has been a big part of the work at GJP lately and I just wanted to share it with you! Enjoy!
INNOCENT GEORGIANS SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE CLEAN CRIMINAL RECORD