by ERICA MALDONADO
Everyone who can spare the time should get involved in self-fulfilling volunteer work. On November 9, 2022, community members volunteered to install the ninth United Way of Hernando Born Learning Trail at Kennedy Park. I signed a waiver to bring my four-year-old daughter with me to enjoy painting and playing in the park. Now Kennedy Park is where we will go to enjoy the outdoors and the educational walking trail.
The sidewalk was plain gray and somewhat gloomy-looking before volunteers brightly painted shapes, ABCs, and hopscotch numbers along the walking area. Volunteers also enjoyed an excellent breakfast and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and lunch from Checkers, brought to the park by the fantastic local owners.
Many volunteer opportunities are available, especially in November and the holiday season around the corner. Anyone can sign up for email updates and volunteer matches straight to their email. So whether you enjoy helping people through food drives or participating in a community clean-up, there is something for everyone, young and old.
One volunteer commented at the initiative, “This is definitely a labor of love,” as he spoke about how getting down and kneeling on the sidewalk was a little hard on the body and took a lot of time. Also, creating and touching up the paint lines took skills I didn’t know I had. However, everyone worked together up until the end, offering all the extra coats of paint they could find. Donations of paint are greatly appreciated and are what made this project possible. Though back-breaking work, the weather and the Lord gave us the strength to finish a very rewarding and adorned trail to be cherished for years to come.
Kennedy Park is located at 899 Kennedy Blvd, Brooksville, FL 34601.