This week has been Adobe Community Action Week for Adobe employees globally. On Monday, I mentioned that I was looking forward to my particular action choice: RAFT. Today I had the privilege of serving local teachers with members of my team (LiveCycle) along with others from Adobe by investing time and energy into RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers).
RAFT provides thousands of Bay Area teachers and community groups with a wide range of interactive learning materials, enhancing math, science, technology and art programs. Materials are surplus items donated by over 1,000 local businesses and range from cardboard tubes to computers!
My Mom was a middle-school teacher for 16 years; so I know firsthand how great an impact teachers have on the lives of their students, yet how underappreciated teachers often are in broader society. So, it felt especially good to “give back” to such important individuals in the local community.
There were about 50 volunteers altogether and together, in just a few hours, we were able to make a significant contribution in the assembly of various kits that will be used by local teachers (e.g. glove-a-phone packs, sticker packs, etc.).
I was drawn, along with my project-teammates, to the adhesive paper station. Basically our task was to unroll, about 12 feet at a time, lengths of two foot wide adhesive backed white butcher paper, rolled up and rubber-banded for individual application by teachers. A full roll of this paper weighs about 350 pounds, and we proved this by finishing the better part of one roll and starting on a second, new roll before our time ran out. The photo above captures the state of the receiving bin for these individual rolls before we started with our contribution.
There were roughly four distinct tasks involved, although some of us on the team (ahem) were a bit more creative about “tasks.” Unrolling was easily the most strenuous; cutting; re-rolling and rubber-banding; binning.
It may not seem like much, but when you compare the previous two images with the first bin capture, above, I’d say that we accomplished a fair bit of work. It’s fun to think about all the classroom projects that were enabled in the process, too!
Acts of service are always more rewarding to those who serve, and today’s experience at RAFT was no exception.
If you’re a teacher and can make your way to Sunnyvale, you should really check out RAFT. If you’re a parent of a student whose teacher can get to RAFT, consider giving a RAFT gift card. If you want to make an impact on Bay Area teachers, volunteer your time and energy at RAFT. You’ll be glad that you did!