Community Learning and Relationship Building

Joshua (he/him) found his place in service after discovering Repair the World Atlanta’s “farm crew,” a group of dedicated volunteers who have committed their time to work at a farm or garden in the Atlanta area. “I enjoy being hands-on and witnessing the work I’m doing make a difference in people’s lives,” he says. In addition to “farm crew,” Joshua tries to attend in-person volunteer events at least every other week or more.

People farming

In Atlanta, Repair has mobilized volunteers to create change across different communities—and this large-scale effort motivates Joshua to continue serving. “There was a community garden that we volunteered at recently and a neighbor drove by and asked how he could access space to build a garden. We were able to provide him this vital food access resource, increasing his ability to have fresh fruits and vegetables,” Joshua adds. “It’s powerful for me knowing that the things you do and the projects you work on are actually making a meaningful impact on the local community.”

The community connections developed through service inspire Joshua to serve more, both through Repair the World and other opportunities. Reflecting on service experience, Joshua says, “A fulfilling service opportunity definitely makes me want to volunteer more. The first time I ever volunteered in Atlanta, before Repair the World had a local presence, was at the local Jewish Family and Career Services’ mitzvah day. And I still volunteer there every year. Just a few weeks ago the Jewish Family and Career Services’ hosted mitzvah day again, and Repair led a service project for it. I had the opportunity to elevate my service experience by volunteering at the site for mitzvah day and taking part in the service opportunity Repair was leading” 

Through his ongoing service work, Joshua has learned a lot about community, relationship building, and how to address local needs, while leaning on the Jewish value of strengthening each other (Hitchazkut) to shape how he approaches volunteering. But what continues to surprise him the most is “how service takes different forms. Whether it’s organizing like text banking, whether you’re hands-on in local communities, or you’re learning about how you can talk to your elected officials and advocate for people, and your community —there are so many ways to serve and to make a difference.”