The Call to Serve

One Stumpie sits down with the stars of “A Story of Adventeering

STUDENT LIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT

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By Hannah Dean-Wood


As a senior, I will be spending most of this year with my eyes and ears open for exciting opportunities I can take advantage of after the sweet life at ESF ends and the “real world” begins. Last night, I think I may have THE opportunity. I had heard of The Call to Serve before and to my surprise I and 50 other Alpha Phi Omega students had actually raised about $250 for their ambitious cause last fall. But on Wednesday evening, at the screening of their new documentary, “A Story of Adventeering,” I was able to get an inside look into what exactly Andrew Blythe and Adam Kunes are hoping to accomplish.


On their website (www.calltoserve.org), The Call to Serve is described as “a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young adults the power of public service through local and national service trips.” However after five minutes of sitting down and talking with them, anyone could tell that this organization is offering something unique. The term coined by a recent participant is “adventeering”- adventure volunteering. Although the project was started in 2009, this past summer was the first time Andrew and Adam were able to take others on their cross-country volunteering RV adventure. Six lucky people were selected from about one hundred applicants to accompany these outgoing young men, volunteering for twenty days at six different locations around these United States.


One of these locations is a place they say they will always return to. That place, where Andrew and Adam first met, is New Orleans, Louisiana. After Hurricane Katrina Andrew and Adam, having not previously known each other, volunteered their time to the relief efforts. “We had such a powerful experience there, helping that city get back on its feet, and it will be getting back on its feet for a long time to come,” said A2. A2 is used here to quote when Adam finishes Andrew’s sentences or vice versa. Their return each year to this area has given them the opportunity to really see how much of a difference volunteers can make to a community.


















And as Adam said, “people need help everywhere” so of course there were many memorable experiences along the way. Andrew spoke fondly of a woman they helped named Ms. Lois. After the death of her husband, Ms. Lois began hording food and it became a habit that eventually made her home unsafe. The Call to Serve came to her side and assisted her with all the cleaning and sorting she needed. “She was thrilled,” Andrew recalls. “You could see it on her face and in the way she talked, very touching. I think we really had an impact on her and she certainly left an impact on me.” They later found out that Ms. Lois passed away during the end of this summer and they were some of the last people to be welcomed into her home. The film is dedicated in her memory.


Their goal is to grow into an organization that can accept everyone with a heart for service and expose them and America to the values of volunteerism. They offer a variety of service projects including work with the elderly, the youth, the environment, disaster relief programs, and animals in hopes of inspiring their participants to take specific volunteer programs that resonate with them back to their hometowns.


To see them now, in their sporty American Eagle sponsored shirts labeled “Will Work For Free,” one can only be happy for everything these two young men have accomplished. “We really feel like we were meant for this,” they concur. Are you? To find an application for their Summer 2011 tour go to their website www.thecalltoserve.com.