July 25, 2019
By Tereze Ivanaj, Marketing Specialist
Every year, the Meemic family comes together for a day of community service. Sticking to our roots and our mission of serving the educational community, we usually take on projects at local schools or other educational facilities. This year, we revisited the Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency (OLHSA) Head Start in Pontiac.
The OLHSA Head Start program makes sure young children have access to the nutritional, medical and educational services they need, and provides them with opportunities inside and outside of the classroom they might not otherwise have access to. Meemic first had the opportunity to assist the organization last year. We painted murals on the walls, planted small gardens and installed privacy panels to their fencing. See us in action
The Head Start is operated in a former corporate building for one of the auto manufacturers. When you walk in, the walls are decorated with posters advertising the many services OLHSA offers to families. As you continue through the building, you’ll notice that there are stretches of beige, sterile walls in between clusters of students’ artwork. Last year, to make it more kid-friendly, we painted murals on some of the walls. This year, we decided to add more color to the halls to continue to brighten up the spaces.
Prior to the event, four Meemic employees went to the building and sketched the designs on to the walls. The designs were abstract shapes running down a stretch of the hallways on three floors. Each hallway design would comprise two colors.
On the Saturday of the event, all of the employees who volunteered met at the building at 8 a.m. We met with Linda, a director at the Head Start who helped us coordinate, and Susan, the CEO. Once in the building, we unpacked the supplies and divided up in to teams. My team was assigned the third floor. We grabbed our supplies and paint, and headed upstairs.
When the elevator door opens to the third floor, you’re greeted with a scene from outer space: A pale moon shines against a gray sky, while a red and white rocket ship blasts through the stars, heading towards a spaceship piloted by bright green aliens. The outer space mural, painted last year, had become the backdrop to a cozy reading lounge for the students. Around the corner was the hallway with sketched designs labeled “pink” and “yellow.” We unraveled our drop cloths and taped them on the floor beneath each set of designs. We divided up the paint brushes and paint, and got started. Our first coat was completed after an hour. While waiting for the first coat to dry, we began to work on other small projects around the building. I went outside to the playground and pulled weeds, while others dusted the classrooms.
The walls dried, and the second coat of paint was applied. Each floor looked so cool! The first floor, which included an undersea mural, had white and sky blue designs painted down the hallway. The second floor had yellow and green designs, a bright contrast with the deep colors in the forest life mural. The final floor, my floor, had bright pink and yellow designs, also a vivid contrast to the outer space mural.
Working for an organization that helps out in the community is truly rewarding. I can’t wait to volunteer again!