Is it a lack of caring or initiative? This week, I have been periodically checking the boxes that were stationed in the three PODs of the BBC, which is the living learning community in which I reside within the fourth floor of Poplar Hall in the University of South Florida. What I have found is sorely disappointing. On Monday, I saw only one pen in the 4300 POD. By today, that pen was gone. Now, I know all of the members of the BBC and I can attest to their good nature. No one would “steal” a pen from one of these boxes for school supplies that go to children in Afghanistan. Most likely, the same person that deposited this pen took it back out of need or another person that was simply visiting the BBC took it without reading the paper saying what the box was for. I see now that this is the incorrect approach. Leaving boxes of supplies without someone nearby monitoring them is only a liability.
I am more optimistic about my other efforts to collect supplies. I’ve garnered interest from a friend in high school that is the president of a volunteer service club. She has promised to have her club coordinate an effort to collect school supplies. Hopefully their efforts will come to fruition within a short while so that I can meet my quota of 10 boxes of school supplies! Also, I’ve spoken with the head person of the BBC and she has promised to speak in the University Experience class that all first year BBC students must take about donating school supplies. As an incentive, she has assigned extra credit points to anyone that will bring any of the types of supplies listed on the list of acceptable items. In truth, I don’t know how much interest this will invoke but I think that maybe two boxes worth of items will be raised from the University Experience classes.
My other idea is to involve the Office of Veterans Services. This is a division of the Student Affairs that provides services to members of the military that are attending the University of South Florida. I know the Director of Communications personally and will ask him if he would be interested in hosting an event to raise supplies and/or funds and, if not, then to at least host a box within their department. There are still many things that have not been tried, so I remain optimistic about our efforts.