AIM House makes community service an integral part of our programming and we do this for a number of reasons. It is our ultimate mission to make the transition of our participants into everyday life as productive and fulfilling as possible. In addition, engaging in service based projects that benefit the wider community also has the benefit of allowing for participants to grow and continue to challenge themselves as they embark on new phases of their lives.
We asked James Farmer, Community Mentor, to explain his philosophy behind AIM House’s community service programming.
“I believe the quickest route to recovery is getting outside of ourself. Getting outside of our own process and looking into the experience of another person; gaining perspective and insight is the quickest route to recovery and true wellbeing.” – James Farmer
AIM House works with a variety of community partners in the area such as; Habitat for Humanity, the GROWE Foundation, Yard Busters of Boulder County, Sister Carmen, Attention Homes and Balfour Retirement Community. During one of our recent projects for Habitat for Humanity, participants engaged in a variety of building projects such as helping rebuild homes, painting, pouring foundation, and landscaping. These types of projects can give participants a sense of accomplishment and build community as they navigate how to work together.
“I was surprised at how strong of a team we became. We did not expect to get that much done, but we worked together and we really tried to accomplish the tasks.” -Mitch Messmer
We understand that community service gets a decidedly non-glamorous rap. But hear, in our participants’ own words, what they get out of helping those who are in need.
“I went in with an apathetic attitude and indifferent, I need to get through it. But I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. It ended up being a good amount of fun; a good experience. It just teaches people who might come in with a selfish disposition to get out and think about others.” – Will Swetland
One often overlooked aspect of community service is that it provides a much needed educational foundation for our participants to continue to expand on. An example of this is participants of AIM House have the opportunity to tour The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) next week in order to learn about the scientific processes underlying the study of atmospheric and geospatial systems of Earth. We cannot wait for everyone to get the chance to really learn, in-depth, from the people who work there the kind of research and forward thinking that can be applied to understanding the world around them. We want to show everyone that anyone can be a scientist and offer them some really cool insight into an aspect of that. So stay tuned in the next days for an update on our experience at NCAR and what we all learned!