Excitement buzzed through the air as last year’s students from Professor Temple’s class filed into our small classroom on Monday morning. Lined up on the back row of tables were a series of gifts that had been sent from soldiers and families in Afghanistan for the previous class.
Many were beautifully made cups, flags, mats, a toy truck, and there was even a beautifully made chess set. Professor Temple arrived with bagels and coffee for the entire class. This was a much needed break from the regular class schedule. Having the past class present was a relief, as we heard about their struggles they were able to overcome and how they did it. I was able to ask a couple of them for ideas on how to get the ball rolling when collecting school supplies and for fundraising for AVBI. They all had great ideas, and many offered to lend a helping hand for networking. I spoke with a past student who also offered to help me get in touch with the Rotary Club of New Tampa. My spirits were automatically lifted, and their visit was refreshing.
The Dean of the USF Honors College, Dean Silverman, also received a gift, a small afghan hat. He arrived to class in order to present students of the previous class with certificates of appreciation. Proudly, he began the list of students; it made me realize that we are all on the same team, fighting to bring school supplies to a small place on the other side of the world.
A fellow classmate, Shelby, received 5 boxed of pens from Bic this week, a huge success for our cause. Our class is very grateful for their support of our cause, two years in a row!
So why is it so hard for a group of students trying to do something great to gain support? Trying to make a change for the better? Why is it so hard for the children of Afghanistan to receive an education when it is so easy for us to do so here? Is it our own fault for ignoring this problem for far too long? Our entire college career we are told to use our education to make this world a better place; we are told that we hold the future within our hands. Yet, when we try to reach out, to make a difference, it seems the world shrinks before our feet and we are forced to chase after it. No one ever said the path would be easy, I suppose, so we will keep at it until we succeed. It seems, though, many of us are beginning to catch up to it.