For the past two semesters, I have been more involved in community and relief efforts than ever before in my life. As I sit down and reflect on how two years ago this was something I only dreamt about since I was confined by the high school schedule and other obligations in my family, I realize the amount of time and effort this type of work takes out of you but at the same time how extremely rewarding it turns out to be.
Never before in my life had I had the chance to help people in my community as I do now and most definitely never before had I had a chance to make an impact on an international level as I do now through this project. With an already stacked load of obligations I felt as if I would not be able to give my all this project when it first started, but on the contrary, it has become something that is now on the top of my priority list.
I want to share a story about one of my colleagues lately that really got me thinking about the work that many people who are active in community and international relief efforts and the time they have to sacrifice from their families and friends in order to serve a greater cause. There is someone that I first met when I came to USF and this person is the reason why I am as involved in the community as I am today. This person himself has sacrificed many a days when he could be hanging out with his friends but he sacrificed that time to serve the community as much as possible. His work in the community has been immensely time consuming, so much so that the hair of this young fella has turned partially grey! The reason I bring his story up is, I feel as if there is a lack of respect sometimes for those who are trying to work towards achieving a goal of serving humanity and that it becomes cliché to hand them a few dollars to get them off your back, but if one was to sit down and hear and understand the purpose as to why they do this work, it would make a huge difference.
Every single person in our class has been working extremely hard to reach our goal of 120 boxes and we have gotten to about 80 boxes packed and shipped. This is pretty phenomenal in my opinion because this project brought together 12 kids who had no idea who each other were around a central goal to help the children of Afghanistan. We want these Afghan students to have the same thing we have which is the hope for a better future for them and their families. In a time where the future is more uncertain than ever, this hope goes a long way so we desperately need all your support for the final push through this project and to make our endeavors successful. We want everyone to believe in our purpose not just hand a notebook to us because they are our friends or family members. Believe in the project, and it has the capability to reach new heights!
As I sit and reflect on the community that I have gotten involved in over the past year, and the international efforts through this project, I think about how dull and boring the next year of my life will be due to the forced elimination of many of these obligations due to the course load that awaits me. It’s somewhat saddening but at the same time a much needed break for a semester or two before my life of hopefully attempting to serve the people of these communities and humanity itself as a whole becomes a reality.