So far this semester, all (or lets say 99%, in case I’m forgetting something…) of the service projects that I have participated in have been hands on! I LOVE hands on projects, because it is so much more meaningful when you get to meet and interact with the people that you are helping. However, we also do donation projects which are equally great. 🙂 Almost everything was due at the end of the semester, so it is all falling into this one, lump post that I am calling “Donation Projects.”
First, we made Soldier Care packages. There are several organizations that send packages, such as HeroBox, Operation Gratitude, and Operation Shoebox just to name a few. Soldier Care Packages is a project that we do almost every semester. It is a great way to help our service men and women, and because we send the packages to other countries, the project qualifies for our “nations of the world” service area. I donated items, and I helped to package them. Here are the items that we collected:
- We receive the going rate for aluminum, which changes as the demand changes – varying from rates of 23 to 52 cents per pound on any given period.
- We average about 450 pounds every 10 days, or approximately $234.
- Every penny helps families stay at the House — $10 pays for one family for one night!
Our third donation project was collecting school items to donate to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Through their Kids in Need program, teachers are able to receive free, brand new school supplies to use in their classrooms! Here is some information from their website about the project:
“Every year, Kids In Need is proud to distribute hundreds of thousands of pounds of brand new school supplies to teachers in low-income schools. For a school to qualify, at least 80% of the students must be enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program. There is absolutely no cost to teachers or schools. The Kids In Need facility is reminiscent of a retail store and is continuously stocked with brand new school and art supplies for grade levels Pre-K through 12.
We currently serve elementary, middle and high schools in Atlanta Public, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, Gainesville, Gwinnett County, Hall County, Henry County, Marietta City, and Spalding County school systems.”
Lastly, we collected toys for sponsoring children for Christmas. We all brought in toys, and they will be distributed in families in need so that they will be able to have a happy Christmas morning with toys to unwrap and play with. I donated a Candyland game and chess. There are several foundations that organize families for sponsorship, such as the Salvation Army‘s Adopt-a-Family, World Vision‘s Sponsoring a Child (worldwide), Save the Children, and Toys for Tots.
On Thursday, November 3rd, I went to the Ronald McDonald House with our group to make dinner. When we did this project in the Spring, I was not able to attend the house to cook dinner. That time, I donated food, so when the project came up this time I was excited to be able to attend! You can visit this site for more information on the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities. Here is a video to tell you more about them:
We went to their newest facility on Gatewood Road near Emory. This house was opened in June of 2008. I am not sure what I was expecting, but the house was so much nicer than anything I could have imagined! I did not see any of the family rooms, but everything that I did see was very nice and state-of-the-art, from the kitchen to the family laundry rooms. The kitchen was huge, and everything that we needed to cook dinner was there. All that we had to bring was the food, which other sisters donated to get credit for the project. We made spaghetti, salad, and bread.
From the time that we got to the house to start cooking, there was one boy named Kenny and his mom that introduced themselves to us and talked to us. Kenny was undergoing cancer treatments, and they seemed to be regulars at the house. Apparently, someone heard Kenny’s story and he and his mom are going to attend the Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee! They are even going to be honored by being able to walk down the red carpet- so cool! The awards will air on ABC on Wednesday, November 9th at 8:00pm.
By the end of the night when we started cleaning up, around ten people came to eat dinner, and we were all able to eat as well. We put the leftovers in the house fridge and loaded and unloaded the dishwashers in the house kitchen. I really enjoyed this service project, and it was a great opportunity to get hands-on hours! These kind of service projects, the ones where you get to see the people that you are helping and know how your service is affecting others, are my favorite! I definitely think that this is a project that we should continue to do in the future, and I hope that I am able to attend in person each time.