Open Letter to my Red Jacket


Dear Red Jacket,

I love you. I love you, not only because you make me the most popular person on the COTA bus and do your best to keep out the winter cold. I love you because you help me recognize my team in the morning, and sometimes strangers who are wearing similarly bright red and khakis for some unknown reason. The organization has changed in 25 years, you have shifted shades, gained and lost fleece linings but ultimately have stayed the same. Our students need stability, and although the body that wears you differs from year to year, they recognize the color and the logo and you are always greeted with hugs and smiles.

Red Jacket, I am so much stronger with you than I am by myself. I have the strength of all the corps members who came before me. I sometimes rub my patch and imagine that they are giving me advice or encouraging me to get through the day. I like to pretend that I am my own hero, Super Tutor, and can save all the students who are off-track with a single power greeting. You make me believe I can, and I work that much harder to make it so.

Red Jacket, you are my armor, and together we do battle against the dragon known as Apathy. You protect my idealist heart from frustration, indifference, and exhaustion. We parry and thrust our sword of passionate service right into the beast’s throat and slay it for that moment, or day or week. There will always be dragons, but I hope there will be just as many red jackets and service warriors to take up the good fight.

— Hope Hill, Second Year Corps Member, the AT&T team at LMSA

Join us at Red Jacket Ball
2014 City Year Columbus Gala

Saturday April 5th, 2014
6pm to 9pm
LBrands Headquarters
Three Limited Parkway, Columbus

red jacket collage

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