The past week was Spring Break for the University of South Florida so Zoe and I took a deserved break off of school and our school supplies drive. Although we both tried to get in contact with Freedom High School faculty for a proposed news piece on our class.
A reporter from an ABC affiliate wanted to do a story on our class and our professor initially suggested that the photographer and reporter follow us around Freedom High School as we picked up boxes from the participating classrooms. Then, we would come back to USF and the camera crew would interview us and film us packing boxes. There were some problems with this plan like obtaining permission from the principal of Freedom High School, if there was any waivers/forms that needed to be filled out by the faculty or other things of that nature. Also, it would be hard to get our USF class over to Freedom High School for the taping. Factoring all of this in, the decision was made to have the story filmed at our professor’s house this Friday since their garage is filled with school supplies to be packed.
During class today we talked about the news story, but we also did a class update on where everyone was with their monetary donations. Some students in the class have an easy time getting people to donate money, but have a difficult time getting school supplies from people. While Zoe and I have the opposite problem! I believe it also has something to do with our target donation population. We get our donations from a local high school where it is more common for students to be able to donate old supplies of their own than money. Although, I did receive $25 from a family friend who heard about our cause through my mom and decided to help me. I think we all know we are doing a great thing, but it’s funny how it really sinks in when you get praise and appreciation from people around you that see what hard work is being put in by your part. My mom also decided to give me $25 for the shipping fund which helps a lot! That is four boxes we have that can be shipped. Now we just need about 40 more boxes that need money to be shipped.
There are other people in the class that are already done with their shipping fund collection like Kacie Segovia who went to a Rotary Club meeting and got a $100 donation from a member. Other people are also done with their shipping fund through the tapping into the resources of groups they have talked to about their project. Hearing about how everyone is collecting most of their money is a little disappointing on my end since we don’t have a lot of money, but I just think about all of the boxes of supplies we are raising and all of the boxes we will have even after the course has ended. Also, the fact that we will have a partner in Freedom High School for future school supplies drives is encouraging and reaffirming that we are making a huge impact on our community and children in Afghanistan.
Also during class today I helped a fellow classmate decorate a school supplies drive box so that he could get more donations! I tried to make it as beautiful as possible so people would really feel encouraged to donate school supplies for our great cause. After I decorated it, I wanted to keep it I was so proud of it! There was another box left so I can have another creative box session in the future!
Other than the above updates, there really is not much else that is going on with our specific drive except for the anxious awaiting of school supplies from Freedom High School. After Zoe and I did all of our hard work getting the high school and faculty involved and speaking to over 15 classrooms in our previous visits, the time to wait and see what else is donated has come. To be completely honest, it’s super scary and intimidating! There has been a good amount of pressure and expectation that came along with our initial success at Freedom High School and I just want to make sure we live up to it. I often wonder if the teachers are getting anything donated, if the students are no longer interested, and even if the faculty is no longer as excited as they were in the beginning; but I have to put my worries aside and be happy with the effort and the boxes we have collected so far- which is already a great feat because getting high school students to care about kids in Afghanistan is a lot harder than it looks! We definitely have been lucky to have such a great support from the teachers and faculty from Freedom High School that there is already so much to be proud and thankful for.
To help Zoe and I with our shipping fund, please visit https://schoolsuppliesforafghanchildren.wordpress.com/donate-to-our-shipping-fund/and donate to ship our boxes of school supplies we have raised to the children of Afghanistan who need their supplies.