Sixty eight boxes were packed today; they filled the classroom, the desks, and the hallway in front of our class. All 10 of us worked hard filling and taping boxes, stacking them on carts, and writing customs forms. It was a coordinated group of dedicated students, each with their own job. I was surprised when I walked into class today, amazed at how many boxes we had collected. We have surpassed our goal of 100 boxes and still have supplies left.
Excitement buzzed through the classroom this morning. I had arrived late because I had to go pick up school supplies from a family friend who had taken a box to her office. I collected a box full of paper, pens, and pencils from her; I greatly appreciate her involvement in the project and her willingness to help me with the class. With her help I filled 11 boxes, exceeding my own individual goal. As I walked into class I was taken aback by how many boxes were sitting around; so many of my fellow classmates collected more than just 10 boxes on their own, and we were all surprised by our own success.
Although we had become discouraged along the way and many of us lost confidence in our own abilities, we were able to reach our goals. We surprised each other by how hard we worked, and in the end it didn’t matter who brought in what box because we were all working together for a single cause. As we loaded the boxes into Professor Temple’s car I imagined them travelling far across the ocean and desert. I imagined the pencils we packed in the hand of a little boy or girl as they sat in a small classroom. I also imagined the smiles on the faces of the little boys and girls as they would receive their supplies, and how it would bring them a little bit of hope.
I packed my heart into those boxes, packed my hopes and dreams of this war ending. Each of us did; we packed a semester of hard work, taped up all the letters we wrote, events we held, and everything we have learned in the class. We sent those boxes far away to a distant place none of us have seen, to the hands that belong to small beating hearts that grasp onto hope.