Kaleb joins our NY office for Discovery’s annual Impact Day.

Yesterday, the Discovery Networks office in New York City asked if I’d be interested in taking part in Impact Day, specifically gathering a few photos from some of the locations they would be working in. Impact Day is an annual Discovery event where employees from offices all around the world spend the day away from their desks, and instead, form teams together to help out their local communities. Of course, I said ‘yes’!

Kicking off the day at 9am, my first port of call was at ‘God’s Love We Deliver’. This is a food prepping station that delivers ready-to-eat, individually tailored meals to sick or injured people in the New York metropolitan area. The first task of the day? Cutting onions.

No joke, as much as the head chef explained his technique of slicing onions while minimising the amount of juice particles entering Earth’s atmosphere, 20 odd people hacking away at hundreds of the notorious vegetable left tears in everyone’s eyes. YES, even mine! I can tell you firsthand that the camera lens offered absolutely zero protection.

Despite the stinging eyes and copious amount of tears, the Discovery team made short work of the pile of onion sacks, turning them into neat slices, ready to be made into a hearty soup.

The next group of Discovery volunteers arrived at a local public school, bringing energy, positive vibes, and some epic activities for the classrooms. It was so awesome seeing these kids get some dedicated one-on-one time to have some yarns, read a book, or even show how they draw their favourite superhero. But for some of them the highlight was just being the centre of attention!

As the day went on, the Discovery team cranked through educational colouring books, all the time having the most adorable chats with these little people. I could have spent the rest of the day there easily, but I still had one more place to get to.

Private School 297, Brooklyn. Here, the volunteers was tasked with giving the old building a makeover. Firstly, tidying the PE lockers, and making sure all the sports gear and dirty equipment was cleaned up and washed, then moving onto a wall at the back of the school to transform it into a beautiful, bright mural.

Dead trees decorating the front yard were replaced with new evergreens, weeds were removed, and planter boxes at the front of the building were replaced or refreshed with new topsoil, so the kids could learn to grow some cool flowers. By the end of the day, feet were muddy and t-shirts were splattered with paint, but the parts of the school they’d worked on looked like new.

Most importantly, everyone left each place knowing their actions had made a real impact on these people’s lives, and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces was just the best feeling. Definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far!

– Kaleb Anderson