Today we started our morning by packaging the food we unwrapped yesterday. We packed boxes until noon. After lunch we went to the Focus: HOPE learning center to help clean the building. When we first entered the center, I was struck by the resoundingly happy welcome we received. The man welcoming us, Keith, was very enthusiastic for us to get started. I was surprised, because for him to see volunteers like us every day and still welcome more of us with such open arms was amazing. I believe when someone in a position such as his is that excited and happy, it inspires those volunteers to be the same way. I also think that the opposite is true of someone who is not as energetic and happy. The feeling of enthusiasm is transferred easily through simple interaction. I personally would have had less of a good time working if Keith had not been as welcoming and nice as he was. I also noticed the other staff at Focus: HOPE shared the same joy that Keith had, the same hope and joy that inspired me. – Banner
We went back to help out with Focus: HOPE again today for the final time this week. The day was spent preparing and packaging food boxes for the 46,000 people Focus: HOPE feeds a month, as well as helping out around their Children’s Center. We worked long and hard today spending around 3 hours on the boxed meals as well as an additional 2 at the Children’s Center.
Five hours of work is really not much if you think about it, as most adults work 9-5 jobs every day, and even many young adults/teens work summer jobs anywhere from 20 to 40+ hours a week. With that being said, what we did accomplish with our time at Focus: HOPE today was pretty amazing when you look at it from a different perspective. For Focus: HOPE to be able to feed the 46,000 people a month they do, around 12,000 boxes of food are needed. Our total for the morning came out to 925 boxes. With just a little under 3 hours of work our group of 13 individuals as well as a few extra kids there who were doing the same thing , we were able to almost complete 1/12 of the boxes needed for this month. 1/12 may not seem like much, however the 17 or 18 of us working together put in somewhere near 54 hours of work total. It made me realize just how much work it takes to run a non-profit organization like Focus: HOPE that relies mostly on volunteers to get their everyday work done. If we hadn’t been there today, they would be around 54 hours, over 2 days behind on what they need to get done for this month. If you ask me, that makes me feel pretty important, and I’m sure that goes for anyone else in our group.
The work we did at the Children’s Center consisted of the 13 of us helping one of the janitors to clean up the building. This meant vacuuming and sweeping the floors, cleaning all the windows in the building, cleaning out cubbies, wiping down the tables, and picking up trash outside. 13 of us working for 2 hours comes out to 26 hours of work. With us being there today, we just helped that janitor do 26 hour of work in only 2 hours. Again this puts into perspective just how much work goes into non-profits that rely mostly on volunteers. It feels good helping people, especially when you can see the true look of appreciation in their eyes when they shake your hand and thank you like Keith (the janitor) did to me today. Being here makes me wish I’d gotten into community service and started helping others out years ago. I’m loving every second of work were doing here, and I definitely hope to make it back to Detroit some time in my life to do the same kind of work. – Mykel