A Step in the Right Direction with Miles Left to Go

Time seems to go by very quickly, and some how I feel I have accomplished so much and yet so very little. I have been so busy this past week, what with my own life, school, and of course my work for Afghan Children. It can sometimes feel overwhelming, but I am very serious about my support for this very worthy cause.

Donation Box

The donation box I made for the art department supply drive. Hard to miss this one!

First, I decided that my donation box in the Visual Resources Center was simply not getting enough notice, so I made another one to put near one of the most commonly visited areas in the art building – near the drawing room. I painted the outside a shining silver using spray paint, and used gift wrap to fill the inside with bright red. It is very hard to miss. I painted “DONATION” across the front. Later I came back and added even more signs.

Sadly, as of yet, neither box has received any supplies at all. This has only pushed me to try and spread the word further. So far I have received a check for ten dollars, but not much else.

Afghanistan Donation Information Card

The information card I made to attach to the APO shipping box given to Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse.

I also set up the APO shipping box that I then took down to Sacred Grounds. I felt giving a concrete example that was small enough to fit on their counter would have positive results. I can only hope so, after the less than hopeful results of my other drive.

Another avenue was that of Occupy Tampa. I went to one of their general meetings with a friend of mine, down in Voice of Freedom Park where they have set up what amounts to a living, breathing example of an alternative lifestyle and community – self sustaining, interpersonal, and very concerned about the world they live in. At first I was skeptical, I am not judge mental and have hung out with a wide variety of people living a multitude of lifestyles, but many of them did not seem to fit the general notion of what a fundraiser would look like, or act like, but they were warm, welcoming, and very enthusiastic about my project. One man gave me ten dollars on the spot. They encouraged me to keep coming back so that together we could arrange for a box to be set up at some of their events and rallies. I also stayed to listen to some of their plans for other local events and movements, offering help when I could.

One more thing to mention, photographer Tom O’Neill came to speak in one of my classes, completely coincidentally about the journalism work he had done in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some of his work featured local schools there, including an image that recently won the “women’s rights” category of a Florida Museum of Photographic Arts contest, and will soon be there for display. It was fascinating to hear him discuss his journey and his work. You can find his photos on his website, perhaps you will find them as inspiring as I did.

A teacher leads her class in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A teacher leads her class in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo by Tom O'Neill

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