Today was a day that ended in much personal satisfaction for our class; it was packing day. Packing day is always wonderful because we get to see the physical fruits of weeks of labor for working with our drives for school supplies for Afghan children. Specifically, Zazu and I had plenty of reason to be elated about our progress.
Again, Zazu and I visited Freedom High at 8am in the morning before our 9:40am scheduled meeting time for our honors course. With already packed trunks of school supplies we went to gather more because of an urgent Facebook note from a teacher of Freedom High that we, jokingly, needed to “bring a UHAUL”.
As Zazu and I arrived on this Monday morning we were quickly reminded of the light heartedness of high school, it was spirit week and we were amongst children and teachers dressed as things like flamingos, treasure maps, “creepers” and more. Due to the request of our visit we knew we had to pick up the office cart for smooth transportation of the school supply boxes. Then, we headed to the teacher that had requested our visit. He surprised us with 8 boxes and left us with his quote “act locally, impact globally” we smiled and both thought of how great teachers really can make a huge impact.
After that we knew we had some house-keeping to do. Unfortunately, the hot sun did not make this a pleasant thing to do. These visits required walking around campus which we began to question the benefits of being outside when in Florida! But, despite this, we confirmed with several teachers who seemed to be heading the school supplies drive at Freedom that Rex Temple’s visit to speak with Freedom High was conducive to their classroom schedules; we were excited to get confirmation and we now look forward to April 21st when he is scheduled to speak. This day will be monumental for Zazu and I because it is representative of our two worlds coming as one, and really speaks to the way that the community can come together through networking. You should always maintain positive relationships with people because you never know when an experience or person from the past will come to your benefit in the future.
Another important visit came out of today; we went to a teacher that we hadn’t visited the previous time. We found that another teacher had used his boxes for their class drive and therefore he hadn’t done anything. But, this particular teacher was a favorite of Zazu and I and we knew that he was very knowledgeable about things; one of those people that always has suggestions, information, and answers for any situation. So we told him our situation that we had raised almost double the amount of boxes we were assigned; but, consequently were lacking in shipping money to fund the boxes to send to Afghanistan because our focus has been so honed in on boxes, boxes, boxes! He immediately picked out a student in his class who he knew had a connection which we plan to contact. He also wrote on his board a reminder to himself and agreed that in one week we should come back to check in. Zazu and I know that he is a man of his word, so hopefully this will be successful.
Now, it was time to go to class at USF. So, we left Freedom High school with our full cars, which probably were not so efficient on gas mileage at this point; with all the extra “baggage”. Zazu called our class ahead of time to inform them of our arrival so we could unload our goods without parking first. We filled up an entire transporting trolley. I accidentally forgot three boxes that were not inside my trunk but my backseat instead so, stupidly, we ended up carrying these anyways. Upon arrival of the class we were informed that we had a special visitor who is completing is M.A at USF and came from Afghanistan to do so. He heard of our course through Facebook; if that doesn’t speak to the power of social media I don’t know what does. Then, after meeting him, zazu and I had noticed that together we had raised a cartful of boxes- the same amount that our entire class had brought that day to pack as well.
After packing, taping, labeling, and picture taking we all stood back and patted ourselves on the back. But, there was discussion of noting that the semester is still not over and knowledge of several students’ projects not coming to a close until later on- we knew shipping money was lacking. A little sigh of relief came from Zazu and I, noting that we are not the only ones who are now behind in raising the green stuff! So, our course of action is to inform the Dean of the college of our success and propose that this constitutes as a reason to dip into the honors college funds to help us send our entire raised supplies; and help tie the ribbon to this successful bow of giving!