The surprise text message from my church youth leader asked if I wanted to go to Farragut Houses in Brooklyn to do some community service as part of "Spider-Man Week in NYC" in late June. And, by the way, I also would get to meet the cast of the new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man."
I jumped at the chance, along with four other youth leaders at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn. When we got there, kids were planting small gardens and painting a mural about how to be amazing. We put on our Spider-Man T-shirts and helped with the mural.
Then, just like in the movies, the "Spider-Man" cast came out of nowhere and helped paint the mural. It was so cool. Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man, Emma Stone (Gwen) and Denis Leary (George Stacy) were really excited, and they even took pictures with us.
No sooner than we got home to post our pictures on Facebook, I got another text message from my youth leader, Tracee Loranscott. This time, it was to say we were invited to the New York Stock Exchange to help Spider-Man ring the closing bell!
"This opportunity to give back and share in the Spider-Man community events came to the youth leaders at the church] through a collaboration with NYC Service,'' said Joe Branch, interim director of the church's Youth Ministry, referring to the mayor's 2009 pledge to increase volunteerism. "One of our five pillars is a commitment to community service."
We had special name tags to enter the Stock Exchange. We heard about the history of the building and the stock exchange and what to expect that day, and we even got to walk around on the trading floor.
Then, it was time to ring the bell. We started clapping; Spider-Man popped up and rang the bell at 4 p.m., banging a gavel. Then, he jumped from the ledge down to the trading floor. We got medallions that said, "The Amazing Spider-Man Closing Bell Ceremony June 28, 2012."
That week was really special. We got to serve our community, meet some celebrities and be a part of New York Stock Exchange history. It really meant a lot to us and our church youth ministry.