What do oranges, markers and bicycles have in common?

Perhaps you are thinking they are all “round” which is somewhat true. However, it’s what the many kids and their families experienced at yesterday’s Summer Lunch Program sponsored by EDCI (East Durham Children’s Initiative, www.edci.org). Summer Lunch is a 9-week program based on a collaborative effort by EDCI, Maureen Joy Charter School (where the program is based), Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and many other groups who send troupes of volunteers to serve lunch and facilitate activities during the 1.5-hr timeframe. Each day a different, healthy hot meal is provided for the 50 – 100 individuals from the surrounding communities who choose to participate. On Mondays, each family gets a bag of breakfast items to take home for the week. And on Friday’s, they are provided with “Weekend Back Packs” full of food.

Yesterday, the kids got a special treat with EDCI, as part of their Healthy Living Initiative, also sponsoring a “Bike Rodeo”. An obstacle course was set up on the parking lot of Maureen Joy Charter School, bikes were tuned up, helmets were given out for free and bike experts were on hand to give the kids tips on how to ride their bikes safely. “Loaner” bikes were also available for the kids to ride during the event.

My first week as a GSK Pulse Volunteer has been amazing. The team at EDCI is made up of highly professional, caring individuals who are making a difference in the Durham community. From daily meetings about programs and interventions, to one on one meetings with families needing assistance to collaborating on the next community event or partnership. I am excited about the value I will be able to add over the coming months as an Organizational Development Consultant (helping to identify an organizational plan for scalability and growth) and am so grateful to GSK for allowing me to do this.

lunh4

Volunteer, Nicole helps Summer Lunch regular attendee Faith with her craft.

Volunteer, Nicole helps Summer Lunch regular attendee Faith with her craft.

Families enjoy a hot meal in the cafeteria of Maureen Joy Charter School as part of the EDCI Summer Lunch Program.
Families enjoy a hot meal in the cafeteria of Maureen Joy Charter School as part of the EDCI Summer Lunch Program.
"Daddy can you help me peel my orange?". Young Summer Lunch attendee, Juliette fuels up before heading out to the Bike Rodeo.

“Daddy can you help me peel my orange?”. Young Summer Lunch attendee, Juliette fuels up before heading out to the Bike Rodeo.

Juliette, 3 poses with her tricycle after rehydrating at the Bike Rodeo.

Juliette, 3 poses with her tricycle after rehydrating at the Bike Rodeo.

Faith makes her way around the obstacle course.

Faith makes her way around the obstacle course.

Kids get their bikes inspected at the Bike Rodeo as part of the EDCI Summer Lunch program.

Kids get their bikes inspected at the Bike Rodeo as part of the EDCI Summer Lunch program.

Dalia enjoys her healthy lunch consisting of baked ziti, glazed carrots, salad and an orange.

Dalia enjoys her healthy lunch consisting of baked ziti, glazed carrots, salad and an orange.