New York Cares, Do You?

illustration, NYCVirginia HartComment
This past Saturday was New York Cares Day. Volunteers all over the city came together to enhance one hundred and seventeen public schools by painting, cleaning, organizing & decorating. My friend, Anne, forwarded me information a couple months ago indicating that NY Cares was still looking for mural artists. I promptly sent in my registration, excited

to find a volunteer project that combined my love for art and my love for kids & education.
I must admit that I ended up putting forth much more time and effort into this project than I had anticipated. I spent many evenings reworking sketches for a principal that had a "fun technology-infused vision" he couldn't necessarily articulate. Despite that frustration and the five hours spent on a lonely Friday night sketching out images on walls whilst dangling from a ladder, I must also admit that this was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in the city. (Okay, perhaps it's tied with the time a little ol' lady asked if I could hold her arm and walk with her 5 blocks, after which she insisted on giving me a lollipop that may or may not have been from 1972.)

After prepping the rooms/mixing colors early Saturday morning, a group of ten other volunteers helped me paint the two classrooms and by mid-afternoon the murals were complete.

Yes, it was a lot of work, but the simple fact that over 88,000 kids in New York City arrived at school this morning to find updated and cheerful learning spaces makes all of our efforts so very worth it. The herds of eager volunteers throughout that particular school - and throughout the entire city - proves just how much New York cares.

To learn more about New York Cares and how you can contribute, please go to

until next time,