Coming to a Close

Last night I stopped in to Sacred Grounds coffee house to pick up the last of the supplies I would be collecting this semester. The box wasn’t over flowing, but it was certainly more than I had been expecting.

It’s strange, now that everything is winding down. The last of the donations are trickling in, and the vast majority of the boxes have been shipped. In fact, those we sent in the beginning of the semester have already arrived in Afghanistan, ready to be transferred to teachers in Kabul. Monday was a huge endeavor, with the class working together to sort and pack 68 boxes, filling a mini-van to the very brim. Enthusiastic grins, jokes, and high spirits abounded.

Packing Boxes

Sorting and packing donated supplies, surrounded by fervent activity and piles of boxes. (Photo via Shelby Register 2012).

Today I came in a bit before my last class of the school year to drop off my few remaining items and help with the few stray packages that remained. It was quieter, and in a way more profound. Compared to the huge send off of Monday, it seemed a more gradual halt, a dwindling down. We only sent out three boxes, bringing the current total to 136. And while impressive, the efforts are not done by any means, and in fact there will probably be a number of boxes packed and shipped after today, but it feels that the hill has been climbed, that we have, as a group, entered the denouement of our story and now pass the torch back into the capable hands of the charity’s hardest workers – those who started it, and who will see it through for however long they can. It seems ages ago that a journey started, and now it is, for me, coming to a sort of end.

However, I am not sure that what was started here will ever really finish. After we had finished loading up a shipment a couple weeks ago the class was approached by a writer from the USF Oracle, a free newspaper run by students. They ended up publishing some of my words, which I would like to re-quote here:

“It’s a life-changing experience. Even if someone comes in and they hate the class and they never want to touch another pencil again they would be getting something out of it. It makes an impact. It’s not something you can turn and forget about.”

It’s true, the experiences I have had here will never go away, and being able to meet and work together with these amazing people has had a profound effect on me. I give my thanks to everyone who made this possible, and to everyone who was able to make a donation and help our cause.

It’s been great.

Signing off,
Shannon

via Liisa Hyvarinen Temple

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