The Final Countdown

Today Zoe and I went back to Freedom High School to pick up boxes that Mr. Leitzke said he had waiting for us; although that was not the only thing on our To-Do list.

Zoe and I with all of the boxes we brought in today from our drive at Freedom High School!

When we got there at 8am we decided to visit Ms. Feldman who’s class was on the way to Mr. Leitzke’s class. When we dropped in we were surprised to find a pink flamingo behind the desk instead of a teacher! It was actually Ms.  Feldman, she explained that it was Spirit Week and that they had to dress up as something that started with the first letter of their name that day. So her letter “F” was for flamingo! After we got passed her flamingo attire, I told her that I had sent both Mrs. Carr and her an email stating the situation for SMSgt Rex Temple to come in as a speaker. She told us she would go down to the main office to set everything up with Mr. Thomas, an Assistant Principal.

I am proud to be a USF Bull and also an FHS Patriot!

As we walked down to the main office, we saw the students pass by in their costumes and we reminisced about our Spirit Week days when we would come to school dressed up as whatever the day called for, whether it was “80’S Day” or “Nerd Day.” We had so much fun back then, but I realized today it is just as much fun watching other people dress up in outrageous costumes! When we got to the office, Ms. Feldman, Zoe and I found Mr. Thomas and set the date in stone with a specific time. So it is official! We agreed to Thursday April 21st during 7th period in the FHS auditorium. I still have to find out when 7th period actually starts, but the hard part is over!

Once we got that out of the way, we decided to go tell all of the other teachers we saw that day about the event so that they could plan for it in their class schedules. Mrs. Carr was going to be our next visit, but she was teaching so we did not want to interrupt her. So we went to visit one of our favorite teachers, Mr. Roberts. After standing outside his classroom for a few minutes, he spotted me and motioned for us to come in. We walked in and lucky enough he was having the students read Death of a Salesman, just like he did for us when we took his class. As we listened and remembered our time in his class, I realized that memories like the ones we were having, the great ones, are what we are giving to the children in Afghanistan. We are giving them a chance to experience love for a poem or a play that they heard in class; better yet, we are giving them an opportunity to fall in love with learning.

Throwing up the Bulls sign in the FHS plaque.

When Mr. Roberts was done going over the play, he asked us what was up and we informed him that we needed more money to ship our boxes. He told one of his students to talk to us and the student gave us a card of a man who sends care packages to the troops out of his own pocket. So there is another possible way to send these supplies. Though I feel bad making someone else pay out of their own pocket so I am probably not going to go that route. Then Mr. Roberts told us to give him a week to run a shipping supply drive and talk to whoever he needed to talk to. So hopefully he can help us pay for our boxes that way.

My class showing off our boxes before we packed them into Professor Temple's SUV.

With our shipping money hopes now in Mr. Roberts’ hands, we headed back to Mrs. Carr’s class to notify her about SMSgt Rex Temple coming to Freedom High School. When we popped our heads in to say hello, she seemed delighted to see us as she always does. I love going in her class for that reason, not only because she knew me as a student, but because she is so happy with what we are doing for the kids in Afghanistan. We let her know about the speaker and she was ecstatic to hear that he was confirmed to come. We told her about our shipping dilemma and asked her for her advice. Mrs. Carr advised us to do a money drive outside of Publix on a Saturday or Sunday morning; Maybe buy some American flags and sell them for a dollar to go to our shipping fund. This was a great idea! Zoe and I are probably going to plan for something like this soon because we need to get more shipping money- our grade depends on it; and what is the point of raising all of these boxes if we can’t send them over? So we are determined to make this happen, just like we were determined to make the school supply drive a success and look how many boxes we have raised to this day, 36! This being so, we are confident we can do it. Mrs. Carr also offered her Armed Forces Club to come out and help us also!

All of the pencils and a few of the notebooks that didn't fit in my car that Yusuf donated today!

Last week, I had a student in my Anatomy and Physiology 2 lab come up to me after lab and commend me for what I was doing for the kids in Afghanistan. He is from Egypt himself and he knows how bad they need it. He went further to say that he wanted to help me raise school supplies and maybe even money to send them over there. Yusuf was his name and today after various facebook messages, he gave me 1500 pencils, 160 notebooks,
and 100 rulers. He told me he was going to talk to some of the people he knew in other organizations like the Muslim Student Association to see how much they would be willing to donate for shipping. Thank goodness! I am so thankful to him and his friends for the school supply donations they made and whatever money they are able to give us for shipping. For once, someone saw all of my facebook posts about the class and did something for it! I am so proud of him and his friends for stepping up!

The notebooks Yusuf donated today in my car!

So now that we only have 5 weeks left in the semester, it really is the final countdown to get our supplies and money! Even though Professor Temple is extending our grades past the previous April 25th deadline because we still have to collect from FHS on their locker clean out day and a few other students are doing similar things; it still feels like the final count is a lot closer now than it was before when we started. Don’t forget the USF Bullmarket event that we are hosting this Wednesday by the Marshall Center from 10am to 2pm. Buy a slice of pizza for a dollar or donate school supplies! Visit the link provided for more details!

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 Bulls Market, USF Honors College and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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