Lumina News file photo
Maggi Apel, Will Beeson and Andrew Robinson scoop mulch into buckets and wheelbarrows in front of the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History on April 17, 2010, during the Work on Wilmington volunteer project
Deadline approaches Nov. 15
Work on Wilmington deploys thousands of volunteers during the first Saturday in May 2014, but the annual community service initiative organized by Leadership Wilmington will need more projects next year than ever before, said Michelle Clark, one of more than 30 students in this year’s class.
The deadline for project applications is fast approaching Clark said by telephone.
“We’re spreading the word that we’re looking for projects right now,” she said. “Then we’ll be spreading the word that we need 2,000 volunteers.”
Nonprofit organizations have until Nov. 15 to submit projects for consideration. Some previous projects include hands-on support for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, New Hanover County Keep America Beautiful, DREAMS of Wilmington, Wilmington Railroad Museum and Smart Start.
Work on Wilmington is the culminating event of Leadership Wilmington, an intensive 10-month immersion in adult learning conducted by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. Students are introduced to the culture, the environment, education system, human services and governmental infrastructure of New Hanover County, its city and its beach towns.
Clark, an Intracoastal Realty Broker, has seen the value of outreach in the community through her membership with the Harbor Island Garden Club and as a former board member for Welcome Home Angel. She said Leadership Wilmington’s $1,300 tuition is an investment in her business.
“It’s an in depth look,” Clark said. “It’s great for people who are new to the area; but there are people who have lived here their whole lives or lived here for a while.”
Clark said the experience has been great for making new connections.
“I’ve met some really, really interesting people, really great people. I’m enjoying it. From my standpoint I’m learning about different places to tell people to go when they visit. Why it’s so great to live in Wilmington, so it’s helping me with my job,” she said.
Since the enrollment deadline of July 31, Clark said she and her classmates participated in an August overnight retreat led by philosopher, motivational speaker and book author Tom Morris, during which time they developed their committee structure.
In September, Clark and her colleagues visited the area’s arts and cultural attractions: Thalian Hall, EUE/Screen Gems Studios, Theatre Now and Cameron Art Museum, among others. In October, they were schooled about the environment, water quality issues and the proposed Titan Cement plant through site visits to Airlie Gardens, the New Hanover County Arboretum and a Cape Fear River tour. During November’s meeting, instructors will introduce the class to education. Each successive month, Leadership Wilmington enrollees are introduced to a new topic like human services, crime and punishment, growth and development, politics and government.
Visit www.workonwilmington.org to learn more about submitting a proposal, volunteering or contributing donations to purchase supplies to support the event.