Today I worked my first and only weekend general assignment shift. I was the only reporter on-call today in the newsroom, which was both exciting and terrifying. I spent the first hour of my shift looking for something to do. Nothing seemed to be happening on such a beautiful Saturday morning, but I was determined to get something published.
The assistant city editor for the day decided to send me out to get pictures and quotes from people who were taking place in the Clean-up Columbia that morning. We had covered it earlier this week, but decided it was worth a follow-up story. So, I drove around for about an hour, looking for someone willing to speak to me. But I guess we were too late, because every location listed on the website was completely empty! The only sign that anyone had been there to clean up was the pile of trash bags waiting to be picked up later that day. There wasn’t a single volunteer in sight though.
I returned to the newsroom in defeat. I wasn’t going to publish a story that day.
But just as I was walking up to the newsroom, I was told to turn back around. There was a garage sale going on for Habitat for Humanity at a local church. I was told to not cover the garage sale that was happening, but to find a story within the garage sale. I drove there not knowing what to expect.
Arriving at the church, I walked around for about 15 minutes, gaging how the event was going and talking to some customers who were browsing the items for sale. I came across a janitor for the church and his wife, who had a Habitat house from many years ago. He actually ended up with his job at the church because of Habitat for Humanity. And now he and his wife give back to the community by taking part in the garage sale that helped to fund their own home. It was an incredible story to hear and exactly what I was looking for!
I hurried back to the newsroom and wrote it up. Check out the final product here!