Today I was able to completely fill up the whole bed of a pickup truck with non-perishable food items for those in need. It was a very humbling and empowering feeling all bundled in one giant ball of energy that serves to motivate me to strive to do more.
I am a senior student at MAST Academy, in Virginia Key. I have been wanting to plan this food drive for a while now, but something always came up to cause a delay for it. I was finally able to announce that I was planning a food drive about 3 to 4 weeks ago. It was not as easy as I thought it would be; there were many things to do in its preparation and planning.
One of my first steps was to seek motivation for students to wish to participate and contribute to the food drive. I asked several teachers to assist by awarding their students extra credit if they donated 3 or more items to the food drive. Most teachers were thrilled to help. I then developed and designed a flyer to announce and promote the event at my school so that all students would be aware of the food drive. The flyer had to be approved by my school’s activity office; there was some editing that had to be done to the flyer before final approval was given. After this, I went to a local copy center to print over 30 copies of the flyer.
The next day, I went to my local supermarket store and asked for cardboard boxes. I had to make multiple trips to the supermarket because the boxes were too big to fit in my car in just one trip. Once I got the boxes, I had to store them at my house until the event launched.
On the event launch day, I woke up earlier to get to school at 7 am to distribute the boxes all over my school and in different classrooms; this took about 40 minutes. I then had to go back to the activities office to get all the 30 flyer copies stamped so that they could be posted around the school (each flyer must be stamped before it can be posted). Once I got the papers stamped, I posted the flyers all around my school with the help of a few friends. Once the flyers were up and the boxes were in place, it was time to wait.
The food drive lasted 2 weeks. On February 12, the food drive ended and it was time to pick up the boxes with the collected items. My father came to the rescue and helped me pick up the heavy boxes. It took us about an hour and a half to collect all of the donated items. I also had a little help from a friend for about 30 minutes. I will never forget when I walked into one of the first classrooms to collect the food drive box, my face lit up with happiness when I saw how many items had been donated. The whole front of this classroom had been covered with bags of food.
I was so thrilled and grateful! After collecting all the donations, we drove to North Miami Beach to drop off the donations at the JHF warehouse. When we got there, Claudia (Joshua’s mom) helped us unload all the donations and I started to unpack them onto the shelves. We organized and separated all of the items on the shelf. With the help of Claudia and my father, we were able to finish organizing in about 30 minutes.
This was a great experience and I wish to do more in the future. I felt so good that I was finally able to accomplish something that I had been thriving to do for so long!
In total, I was able to collect needed items
rice, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, canned vegetables, oatmeal, soup, toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, so many items from Joshua’s Heart approved food list.
I spent 30 hours organizing, planning, picking up, delivering groceries and I was able to collect 1200 lbs of food. Yeah!!
I made a difference, you can too.