I hope everyone had a good spring break. I know we are now entering the second week of our lovely spring quarter and I thought that I might share my experience in St. Louis with my readers. This blog is titled “St. Louis, You're Alright.” I titled it this because I got to see two sides of St. Louis when I went there. One was the tourist side with visits to several restaurants, The Arch, and a few museums. The other side I got to see was the many different faces of St. Louis citizens that were homeless or needed assistance in some way. My group stayed at The Bridge where many individuals go as guest to eat and enjoy the company and service provided by The Bridge.
Beside the glorious Arch, Busch Stadium, and the really cool graffiti wall in St. Louis, there are many shelters and services that are provided for people that need help. One of these was the women's shelter that housed single mothers that needed help providing for themselves and their children. That day our group went was a day filled with smiles, laughs, and positive energy. I remember walking in and we were taken into this conference room where we watched a video that talked about the goals of the women's shelter. After the video our group began getting split into different, smaller groups so we could work on various things. My group was in charge of washing the windows in the building and we cleverly title ourselves the “WWC” - Window Washing Crew.
Our crew did it all. We went from the first floor to the second floor, cleaning every single window in sight. Things got a bit tricky on the second floor with some secret, hidden windows but they were no match for our crew. We kept washing away until every single piece of dust on a window had been wiped up by our rags. The lady that assigned our roles laughed at our methods and engaged in our goofy conversations, creating a more comfortable feel to our working environment.
At the end of our day, we went back to the front room on the first floor and met up with the rest of the scholars. Then a baby and her mother came by and everyone's attention was focused on them. The infant walked around gazing at us giants with her big puppy eyes. She spoke very well and even learned to give people high fives.
As our group left the shelter, we found ourselves still thinking about the shelter and the amazing things it was doing for its residents. That shelter was a life saver for many and a sign of hope for even more. We decided to use some of our tourist time to go to a Target and get as much toiletries as possible. We returned the next day with our large Target bags and a message to the shelter to keep doing what they were doing. We saw our little friends again and gave them high fives once more.
St. Louis, you are pretty cool city. You have a good baseball team, nice malls, good restaurants, but most importantly, you’ve got spirit. Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago with all my heart, but I don't know - there's just this feel to St. Louis that I can't get over. So, for now, I say stay classy St. Louis and keep doing what you're doing.