Supplies Are Rolling In, But Where is The MOOH-LAH??

Last Friday Zoe and I visited Freedom High School again once I found out great news from a teacher participating in our project!

Freedom High School, located in Tampa, FL.(Photo by Arántzazu Gárate

Ms. Jenna Ball, who was at one point my soccer coach and a friend, is now teaching at FHS. We got her on board to start a supplies drive in her classroom and she had the awesome idea of making her classes compete to fill as many boxes as they could for free homework passes. It was only two weeks ago when we came into her classroom and got the idea going and already she had filled 5 APO boxes with supplies for the children. Ms. Ball contacted me via Facebook asking me for more boxes for her students to fill and if we wanted to pick up the 5 boxes her students had already filled! She was just as confident as we are about the drive effort so she asked for 8 more boxes once she learned that the deadline for FHS to turn in all supplies was April 21, 2011.

When we arrived at FHS last Friday, we were only going to drop off boxes to Ms. Ball and pick up what she had gathered. But we decided to check up on other teachers also to see how their efforts were going. We were not able to find some of the teachers in their classrooms, but we did find Dr. Barthel, our AP Environmental Science teacher and Science Department Head, who we had been unable to find since day 1. Dr. Barthel recognized Zoe and I at once and took us over to her class so we could present to them our supplies drive. We managed to have some extra boxes so we left 3 APO boxes with her for her classes to fill. And Zoe added a little competition by telling Dr. B that Ms. Ball (a fellow science teacher) had already filled 5 boxes for us to take. Naturally, Dr. B was prepared to fill as many as she could after hearing that! She asked us if we had asked any other science teachers and immediately took us over to another teacher so we could include her class. Unfortunately the students were taking a test and the bell rang, so we could not talk to them. We will visit that teacher again when we return to FHS.

Freedom High School's U.S., Florida and P.O.W. flags flying in front of the school. (Photo by Arántzazu Gárate)

Once we made our science classroom rounds, we headed to the social sciences classrooms which is where most of our drives are located. We visited our biggest supporter, Mrs. Carr, but she was not in her classroom. We also decided to pop in Mr. Leitzske’s classroom who is also one of our greatest supporters at FHS and he was delighted to see us! He actually had 2 boxes that his classes had filled and let us take them!

As Zoe and I left Freedom High School, we were reminded yet again of how amazing our former teachers and current students at FHS are and how far they are willing to go to make a cause a reality! I took pictures of the school and of our first pick up! It is so fantastic to see all of our hard work, and the hard work of all of our supporters produce a tangible product! Might I say a very heavy product as well because we needed a cart to carry the boxes to our cars!

Our first pick up from Ms. Ball's classroom! Good job 3rd period honors physics students! (Photo by Arántzazu Gárate)

When our USF honors class met this morning, we knew that there was urgent need for school supplies so Zoe brought our filled boxes to school. Zoe, Jordi, Chase and I made the trip to her car on the 4th floor of the parking garage with a cart to pick up the 7 total boxes we had previously collected from FHS on Friday. Despite Chase almost taking me out because he wanted to ride the cart down the garage floor, we made it back to the classroom and unpacked the boxes so we could take a count of what was in each box. This process took a good amount of time seeing that we had to count all of the notebooks, paper, pens, pencils and other miscellaneous items that were donated. Zoe was getting a little frustrated as the writer because we kept on cramming more into each box after she would make the tally which was quite humorous. We ended maximizing space in the boxes so much that we managed to have an empty box left because we were able to fit it’s contents in the other boxes.

Total of 24 boxes we packed and addressed to be sent to Afghanistan! (Photo by Julio Novo)

During our class meeting today, Zoe and I talked about how successful our Freedom High School supplies drive has been so far and it’s potential. But also, that with our growing donated supplies, our shipping fund is also increasing. And so far we have promises from our moms that they will donate money to ship our boxes but we will need a lot more money than that to get our boxes over to Afghanistan. Therefore, we decided to reach out to our local Panera Bread Restaurants that was recommended by a student at Freedom High School who works at one and said her manager was always willing to participate in community service events. Zoe and I thought this would be a great way to come up with money for our school supplies so wait on updates for that project!

If you would like to help our efforts to come up with money to ship the school supplies donated, please visit and help educate the Afghan children and their nation!


About arantzazugarate

I am a student in the Honors College at the University of South Florida working with my classmates to bring education to Afghanistan's children.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Awareness campaigns, Education, Holland & Knight Foundation, Partner organizations, Partner schools, Social media, University of South Florida, USF Honors College and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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