It has been 43 days since I first learned of the School Supplies for Afghan Children charity drive and became committed to a truly meaningful project donating tools to educate Afghanistan students and thereby helping to improve a country. Since the beginning I’ve become more knowledgeable in social networking, had inter-university cooperation, captured the attention of the College of Education, and have a new drop-site at my work. It feels a little depressing that I only have about two boxes of school supplies after almost two months of work but once you get the ball rolling it really does build momentum.
I’ve grown leaps and bounds in my technological skills thanks to being forced to create a Twitter account, WordPress blog, and fliers. I seriously had never even seen Twitter before this class so when asked to create a Twitter handle along with being required to blog, a sick feeling boiled up in the pits of my stomach. Navigating around WordPress.com felt like navigating my way through an instruction manual in Mandarin. The blogging has felt especially intimidating because I am not eloquent with my words as fellow members of the Honors class are. To add to that confusion, having only 2 or 3 followers on Twitter was simply not motivational.
Once the social networking sites were under my fingers, I had to figure out how to make a flier to give to store managers and utilize in advertising the school supply drive. I actually had to ask a friend what kind of program you even use to make a flier because I certainly had no idea. Honestly, for someone of my generation, I’m slacking on technological savvy. The only gaming system I own is an N64 that’s about 13 years old!
While becoming acquainted with the fascinating tools of the 21st century I first contacted my family and told them about the school supply drive. My mom has been very supportive and has been great at giving suggestions on who to ask for help and how. She has been asking her friends for help and even promised to fill a box with supplies. Next I talked to
my sister, Khayla Johnson, who is about to graduate with a double masters at University of Florida and asked if she knew anyone who could donate supplies and after a couple weeks I now have a confirmed “yes” from a UF athletics department that they’ll donate . It feels great to know that students at another university almost 2 hours away care and are willing to do something about it.
Also, my friend Alex Dashner simply saw the online news articles I was looking through for a blog and she asked what I was doing. I explained the charity to her and how it had become a class and after loving the idea, she told me to email information about it to her and she’d pass it on. Later that week I received an email from an incredibly nice student government representative from the College of Education, Christine Brinkworth, who said she thought the school drive would be a great event to speak about at a Senate meeting. Unfortunately my work schedule prevented me from speaking so my classmate, Sarai Quiel, was awesome enough to volunteer herself for the meeting.
My boss also agreed to let me put a box for donations where I work, Vetcare Harris Animal Hospital. A lot of great people bring their pets in there plus the employees are very kind so I have a positive outlook on how full the box will get. The box will be placed there later today when I go to work. So all and all, I guess the ball is rolling so let’s just see exactly how fast it will get.