I began my Monday morning in the typical way: by jumping out of bed and running to the coffee machine. Little did I know at the time that the choice to drink out of my American Flag coffee mug would deem more than appropriate for setting the tone to my entire afternoon.
I am enrolled in a class at the USF Honors College titled “Social Media, Social Change.” As a marketing major, I thought it would be a fun way to get a more in depth knowledge of marketing on the vast Internet. We have only met twice this semester, and already I am overwhelmed at the world changing scope that the assignments and overall purpose of the course. It is not often that our curriculum provides us with hands on examples to the real world, and it is extremely rare to find the opportunity to make a large impact while simultaneously learning ourselves. For more information about how the project began click here.
This morning, our class began to fill boxes and boxes with school supplies to send to Afghanistan children. We sent 18 to be exact. The meticulous process of taping the boxes shut (to avoid dust and scorpions) and filling out the packing labels correctly filled me with curiosity, excitement, and a bit of anxiety. I have never mailed a package farther than a few states over, and here we were meticulously writing in little boxes to military addresses so foreign to me. What if a package and the donated notebooks and paper were lost along the way? Needless to say, I double-checked every slip I could to make sure all information was accurate and the supplies would reach the children who so desperately need them.
A self-proclaimed lover of office supplies, I began to think about the way I live. About my odd obsession with a certain brand of colored felt tip pens that cost about $13 a pack and I must use throughout my day or I feel unorganized. Across the world there are children writing with sticks in the sand and rejoicing over a scrap piece of paper and a dull, recycled pencil to learn with. I saw a perfect imbalance. I also saw a window of opportunity.
Throughout the rest of the day, the thought of collecting donations consumed me. I thought of all the student organizations I am in. I thought of the connections I have at The University of South Florida. I thought of possible sponsorships I could collect. It was overwhelming and inspiring. I cannot wait to begin my project and collect supplies. A full list of supplies we collect can be found here.
I never imagined my last semester in college I would be so actively involved in a project as complex as influencing an Afghanistan child’s education and future, and as simple as collecting a used pencil. I am excited for this journey ahead, and to share it with you.