Monday, June 14, 2010

How Do YOU Make an Impact?

My company gives everyone the day off on June 11th to volunteer in the local community. This annual day is called IMPACT day. Far and wide, all employees choose how they want to make a difference. Pretty amazing (and costly!) if you think about it. All productivity stops and no work gets done. This is the 11th year that the event has taken place. I wanted to sign up to volunteer to stuff care packages for soldiers overseas, but the list filled up quickly so I signed up for Orphan Foundation of America. This organization raises money for orphan kids to go to college. Each year they receive 3,500 applications but only have enough to give away about 75 a year. Quite a big difference.

Our tasks for the day included creating hand-made cards to send in care packages they send three times a year to current recipients and reviewing applications to figure out those who get the funding. Making the cards was super fun, it was interesting to see professional adults crowding around scissors, stickers, glue, and scrap paper. I made 22 cards in about an hour and a half...PHEW! Now reading the applications on the other hand was gut wrenching and I wanted to give them all money. Most of their stories said that their parents were drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, or any other version of losers. There were a few that really stuck out to me, in particular one where her father shot her and her family but somehow she was the only survivor and is paralyzed on the left side of her body. I have no words to fathom just exactly everything she's gone through. Another one was where the girl came to America to live with her mother only to have her stepfather repeatedly rape her over and over again with her mother's consent. Most of these stories have the kid enduring incredible adversity over and over again without any help from authorities even after the kid complains over and over again to child services. How can this go on? I just don't understand. Puts a lot of things in perspective. Especially when you think of all the kids who waste away college partying and failing classes and there are kids out there that go through so much and all they want in life is to go to college.

Alright, no more sad stories. I did however get to see the CEO of my company that morning as he kicked off the ceremony! He's a lot shorter than I imagined hahaha. It was pretty cool to see him because he normally works in NYC but I guess he decided to be in DC this time. Dunno. And then afterwards my company held an after party at the zoo! Lots of free food and BEER! I love love love free beer. Buckets and buckets of free beer! I ended up meeting up with another girl who is new and I met three or four of her friends who also work in my company. We stayed till the end of the party. When they started carting off the coolers we frantically found the cooler and dug out the remaining 6 or 7 beers left and threw them in the center of our group...ahhh just like college! Couldn't loose out on free beer! I think I roughly had 5 or 6 free beers. SCORE! The rest of the group went on to another bar but I diligently went home since I had to be up really early in the morning for the World Cup. More details on the World Cup in the next post!

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't it suck, Amber? I had so many kids in my class and school who came and told us terrible stories. Including a kid that couldn't stand to be touched and couldn't control bowel movements, among other things, but according to CPS showed "no sign" of sexual abuse. The law does not protect kids.