Much of my affinity for being a librarian is helping people find what they need. So I guess it stands to reason that is why I loved volunteering as a member of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Street Team. Granted, I was outside, much of it in 30-degree weather and sometimes in the rain, but it was a very pleasant, enjoyable experience. I got to direct people, I got to promote my city, and I got to participate in the camaraderie of townsfolk gathered in the streets of Indianapolis. Oh yeah, and I saw Shaq!
My husband Brett and I were stationed in four different locations: Mass Ave, City Market, South Meridian, and Union Station. Friends and family have asked me what kinds of questions I was asked. Here’s a sampling:
Where is the zipline?
Where can I buy NFL merchandise?
How do I get to Lucas Oil Stadium?
What is the nearest restaurant with the shortest wait?
Where is the Verizon stage?
Where are the Super Cars?
Where is a bathroom?
Where is ESPN taping?
Where is the Lego replica of Lucas Oil Stadium?
What time does the bus stop running to Broad Ripple?
Where are the Roman numerals?
Where can I get my cell phone charged?
Where can we get a wheelchair?
My daughter lost her iPod. Is there a Lost and Found?
I could go on and on. The Street Team was in constant contact with the Command Center. I was very impressed with the preparedness. Through radio communication, we were constantly informed of restaurant waits, road restrictions, crowd issues, protestors, drunken partiers, etc. Those who approached with questions were so appreciative, and numerous times I was given a hearty Thank You! by passersby.
Now, as we recover from about 20 hours of volunteer time over the course of just a few days, I reflect on how rewarding the experience was and how easy it was to do, despite my worries of how I would possibly fit it into my schedule. It was so easy, in fact, that it makes me wonder why I don’t do more volunteering.
Sure, there were things that didn’t get done. We didn’t take any time off work and so household chores built up, there were many meals eaten on the run, and the kids were left with the oldest “in charge” a bit more than normal. But the kids seemed to be really proud of mom and dad and their small participation in Indy’s Super Bowl history—plus, the free tix to the NFL Experience sweetened the deal! Perhaps the mountain of laundry waiting for me at my house should deter me but, hey, that mountain grows and recedes no matter my schedule. And perhaps it’s time for the kids to learn how to sort, load, and fold.
I’m back to just being a children’s librarian now, although I have a really cool Super Scarf (see some of the cool ones at http://stories.indianapolissuperbowl.com/blog/super-scarves), and I gladly go back to leading 2-year olds in song and rhyme or trying to help parents of boys who hate to read. However, if you see me at the library and I say, “Have a Super Day!” that’s just me trying to keep the dream alive! Oh, yeah, and I plan to volunteer somewhere again soon!
P.S. My reason for writing about myself (my apologies!) is I have had so many ask me how my experience went and why I did it. Please note that MANY, MANY, MANY others did far more than my husband and me. Kudos to all those who volunteered and a special shout out to those who made the scarves, including our own Kathy Macy!