Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Pre-Thanksgiving Celebration!

Family, friends, and neighbors gathered this past Wednesday to celebrate thanksgiving and get to know one another better. The Neighbor 2 Neighbor representatives helped spread the word and made tasty sides for the dinner. We couldn't have done it without them!

Our turkey. It was my first time cooking one!

Jennifer did a great job carving.
 The South Franklin neighborhood is unique and diverse. For some of our guests, this was their first thanksgiving! We also had many guests who were far from family and friends. It was great to be able to come together as a group and get to know each other better! 

Queuing up up for food!

Everyone brought something that they traditionally have for thanksgiving.
Our great volunteers helped the kids make pilgrim hats and bonnets! 

Trying to get the right fit.

Our thankful tree!

Each leaf had something written on it that we were thankful for.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered and contributed to the potluck! Hopefully there will be many more to come.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Coaching for the South Franklin Soccer League

If you have wondered what it would be like to be a coach for the South Franklin Community Center Soccer League, Shanae Tate's experience will provide some insights.  She was one of our coaches during the Fall 2012 season and has composed some thoughts to share.

"I have had such a marvelous time coaching soccer this season.  Definitely my favorite part has been forming good friendships with the kids on my team.  They are all so brilliant, wonderful, talented, and fun.  We have had such a marvelous time playing and laughing together."

"Some of my favorite moments were when Nigel came to practice with treats in his pockets.  The first time he brought goldfish.  His justification was, "You gotta be prepared."  I called our team the "Prepared Pumas" in honor of him."

"I loved watching teammates bond and make friendships with each other.  There's something about being a minority on a team that brings girls closer together.  Yet they were still just as tough as the boys.  Our team played together, practiced together, and won together."
"Although my coaching experience was marvelous, it was not without struggles.  At the beginning of the season my co-coach, Alex, and I had a hard time finding games to play at practice.  We also experienced difficulty disciplining.  The first practice as a team we had so many games and drills planned, but the kids got bored pretty fast.  It was so stressful to organize them and keep the chaos to a minimum.  Alex and I had to figure out how to pull an equal share and assert authority without having a diffusion of authority.  When the kids saw that it was unclear who was in charge, they started to run things themselves.  This was a challenge, but each week we got better at establishing authority and executing successful practices.  It also helped that as the season progressed we built friendships with our team.  As we got to know them better we were more equipped to find games that they liked and make practice run smoother."

"I loved that my team had a cow when I told them they wouldn't have games for a couple Saturdays during the season.  I loved that we still played together on those days that we didn't have games.  I loved that grandparents and parents and parents brought juice to multiple games for all the soccer players.  I loved coaching the "Prepared Pumas." 

We would love to spotlight more of our volunteers so if you have volunteered at the South Franklin Community Center in any capacity and would like to share your experience with us, send us an email at southfranklin@unitedwayuc.org.

Thanks to all our volunteers who keep our community center running!