Duc Ho,03/14/2012

Today is yet another alike service at Low Country Food Bank. We help organize everyday-necessary stuffs such as shampoo, medicine, etc . I learn how to do team work.

The manager at the place said that the work is easy, all we have to do is moving disorganized stuff to empty boxes. Morgan had an idea of marking the category onto each empty box so that we can sort them easily. We would then divide into two team,  each team on either side of the table , in which one team[ that is near the disorganized box, that I was in] hands stuff to the other team[ that do sorting]. Basically, in the handing-team, two person works on one boxes.  Everything works fluently until we had done organizing which is the time to get lunch. We go to lunch.

After getting back from lunch, we jumped into boxing. This time we were meticulous about stuff’s expiration date comparing to before-lunch time we which just throw stuffs into empty boxes. The manager wanted us to keep all the 2012, which I think is not appropriate. What if the expiration date is on January, February, etc of 2012(the time of this writing is March-14-2012)? Do you want to send already expired stuff to poor people? Is it helping or making things worst?  We ended up doing what he asked for!!!Anyway, I think they will do the second check before giving these stuffs to needed people, so it would be fine. We finished work fast. Yet, without cooperation of everyone, the work has taken longer time.

After having done all the work, we took picture again, and went back to the motel. We went to mall the rest of the day eating and shopping. Everyone had have a good time I figure.

Hiromi Kowata 3/13/12

Working slash working out is what I feel we did today. Though, things we did were not what I thought or heard from anyone who had volunteer experience at other food bank – actually dealing with food supplies– , it was another new experience for me. We sorted out medical supplies donated from stores. It was a very simple task as described. While working, what I felt was “teamwork”. We moved around wherever we needed to be and worked quite efficiently, which gave us a reward – the longest free evening time among the past four volunteer work days.
On our way back to the motel, some of us in our van had a conversation regarding homeless people. One of our members told us her story that she gave a cup of starbucks coffee every day when she walks by the place where a homeless man always shows up. I felt how thoughtful she is and liked her thought as well as action that told me she does not look at or judge a person by his/her appearance. If I were her, I would not have approached the homeless man, talked to and given him a cup of coffee. It is because that anytime I see homeless people they are at places where nobody else is around. It makes me feel frightened, which automatically makes me feel that they might terrify me. However, one of our members’ story gave me a fresh insights towards homeless people. I feel the day will be coming soon that I will react to those people differently.

Ashley Carver 3/13/12

Today we went to the LowCountry Food Bank and it didn’t take as long as we thought it would. While at the food bank, we organized boxes of stuff that was donated to the organization. I must admit that the food bank was not what I thought it would be. I thought the food bank would be more like a soup kitchen and from my understanding I was not the only one who was mistaken; instead, the food bank was more of a very large warehouse that distributed the food to other organizations so that those organizations could distributed to the families in need. I must say that I did not feel much emotion about the work we did today, I suppose it was because it was in such an industrial kind of work place in comparison to the house like businesses we have been working in the rest of the time we have been here. Although I really didn’t mind the work because it was not very hard, I had to bend over into very large boxes to grab the items we were categorizing. After organizing the items, we started sorting through medicine and throwing away all of the expired medicine. I had a slight sense of guilt because I am sure that the majority of the medicine was probably still good. Amber said she felt very wasteful and I really had to agree.Tomorrow is our free day, and I really can’t believe we go home the next day. This trip has gone by so very fast. I feel like we have not been here but for a few days and I suppose in all reality we have only been here for right at 4 whole days. As much fun as this has been I am pretty excited to go home, be around my family and sleep in my own bed.

Morgan 3/13/12

Today, our group went to work at a food bank. I personally did not know what a food bank was before this trip. A food bank is basically like a store that agencies can go to and retrieve necessities for those in need. At this food bank, we sorted out personals and medications. It was exactly like what I used to do at my old job at Roses Department store because there, along with being a cashier, I was in charge of personals and medications. While I understand the need for food and medications, I didn’t understand some of the things in the boxes. There seemed to be plenty of anti-aging products and to me, I didn’t understand why those would be the most prominent products donated to the needy.
As a child, my family used to require wellfare. So to hear about the programs the company did, I understood what it felt like to be needy because I had been on programs like that. I enjoyed working in the food bank because I understand the families who require their assistance. Asking for help isn’t always the easiest task. But those who need help from the food bank are in a great need. Helping them was very rewarding because I felt like I knew their struggle. The most frustrating part of the trip was realizing that people don’t donate as often as they should. The shelves were almost empty of food because they had just sent out an order. It was also frustrating to see that not only are they not donating often, sometimes it isn’t really what families need. Donations of food and clothes and medicines should be placed at the top of the list of priorities. I do, also, understand that perhaps some families don’t have these items in enough excess to donate. I just wish those who did would give to the ones who don’t even have enough for themselves.

Lauren Stevens 3/12/12

Today our service site was the Lowcountry Orphan Relief Center and it was completely not what I expected.  Just from the name of the organization, I now understand more clearly what it is there for, but in the beginning I had the assumption that this was an orphanage of sorts and we may have a little bit of interaction with the children.  Unfortunately that was not the case but it was still a rewarding service project in many ways, including that we learned so much about what it is the organization does.  When a child is taken from their home and placed with a temporary foster parent that does not have the money up front to purchase clothing for the child, they can place an “order” here where the child can get up to a week’s worth of clothing to last until the families are able to get the funds needed to purchase a wardrobe for the child.  From our organization of the many rooms, we realized just how many donations are given to this organization.  There were closets and shelves completely filled to the brim of clothing just waiting for a child in need.  During our work, we were able to talk to one of the workers who provided us with a more specific idea of just how many children they serve.  During their busiest months of August and December, on average 700 and 600 children respectively are served.  To me, this was just such a shocking fact because I come from such a small area that this number just seems mind-baffling, when in reality in an area this large this may not be that large of a number.  It just really puts into perspective how many children are in need of just the basic necessities to get through the days.  We were also told that the center’s largest expense is on school uniform clothing.  When told this, we were also told that this is true because without the clothes, the children either would not be allowed to go to school, or would not feel comfortable going to school having already been put into a completely different situation than they are used to and possibly having had a traumatic experience, in clothes that are not like everyone else’s and having to look different from the rest.  At one point the work was frustrating because it was so crowded in some of the rooms that we were unable to organize but had to move to another room to be able to sort the clothes.  Now when we were moved to another room where we started sorting, we had some communication errors because to one of the other workers, “Juniors” meant “Ladies” and “Women’s” was “Ladies” therefore we had to change some of the piles around to try to get our organization system back.  Today was an overall great day with many rewards and I can’t wait until tomorrow!

Chance Rader Monday March 12, 2012

Today the group went to the Low Country Orphan Relief Center. While at the center we organized clothes, shoes, books, and also did some work to clean up around the center. While at the center we also made what the center calls orders, which is where they bag up clothes and other necessities that orphans will need until they can get settled somewhere.
While at the center I realized that the work we were doing gave the people in charge of the organization time to catch up on other things such as paperwork. It really put into perspective how much doing something for an organization really makes an impact on the organization, as well as the people involved with it.

Day 3 (Monday) Heather Farley

Heather Farley

Day 3 (Monday)

Today, we volunteered at an orphanage. We helped by folding, sorting, and putting away clothes, books, etc. Some of us also did yard work that consisted of raking and blowing leaves. It was shocking to see how much clothes and things that had been donated to the orphanage. They have several rooms dedicated to the things for the children, but there were still bags and bags of stuff that we weren’t able to fit on the shelves.

A rewarding thing that happened today was probably getting to know some of the people from our group better. Working together and talking to each other has been a really fun experience. I hope we all only get closer and take new friendships away from our trip. Another rewarding thing was looking at the bags of leaves after we had finished the yard work; there were over 10. I was also glad we could help the orphanage sort through so many things fairly quick because there were so many of us. We probably saved them at least 2 days of work.

A frustrating thing was getting bitten by ants. It happened outside while we were picking up leaves to put them in bags. I probably have 9 places on my arms where they bit me. Another frustrating thing that happened during service was having to guess on the sizes of clothes. Some of them didn’t have a tag on them so we had to use our own judgment on where to put them. Hopefully we were able to estimate the sizes right so they can be easily found for the kids in need.

A couple of us went back to the mall for a little bit after dinner. There were still men selling sugar babies. We found out that just one of them costs $600, but they’re really cute. If you sit them down they won’t even run away. The man sat it down and told it to come on, and it just climbed up and jumped in his pocket. They’re adorable and really cool. I held one of them.

Katherine 12-3-12

We went to Lowcountry Orphan Relief, inc. (LOR) today, they are a non-profit organization that provides goods and services to children who have been abuse or neglected. It has been a long day for me since I was not feeling good, my head was killing me the whole time when I was there, and I had a terrible body ache =(. Although I was not in my best condition, it was certainly one of the most valuable days of my life since I was able to work directly toward children.  We all worked together first sorting donations into different age category, then I was told to fill an order for a 10 years old girl.

I was of course super excited! I picked out couple outfits from the summer youth and couple outfits from the winter youth section. I realized how hard it is to pick out different outfits for a little girl that I have never meet, since I do not know if she is a girly girl or not.  I finally picked out a dress, some comfortable outfits, two uniforms, two pairs of shoes, toiletries, some school supplies, two kid’s book and a stuff animal for her.  I think she will be very excited to get all the things that I picked out for her, and hopefully she will be going to a stable home soon.

We then all divided into different groups to organize their closet.  It was quite overwhelming at first.  They have over hundreds and hundreds of outfits for different age group, from new born to adult. We took them all out of the closet, refolded them, and put them neatly back on the shelf. It was not as easy as it sounds at all! I was telling Kathy (Our trip leader) that I was able to realize how much I do not want to work at a clothing store because I have seen enough clothes for the past few days working with different organization.  I also found out an interesting fact about our other trip leader-Sharde-she is very “OCD”. She was reorganizing the little girls’ clothes and the shelf looks like the ones that you would see at a department store at the mall.  She told us that she used to work at American eagle, so maybe that is why she can do such a good job at putting clothes in a tidy way.  If I can do the same thing, my mother might not always describe my closet as my “personal clothes’ dumpster”.

We were finished around 4:15pm and the staff at LOR was very pleased with what we have done.  She thanks us and told us that we did a great job.  We did not do much compared to them, but it is the thought that count.  Concord University will always be part of those kid’s lives after they received the orders that we filled, even though they would not remember us, or even know what we were there, but we did make a difference in the world today, and I am glad that we did.

Danielle Knight 3/12/2012

Today, on the third day of our trip, we went to the Lowcounty Orphan Relief which is a non-profit organization that provides goods and services to children who have been abused or neglected. They told us that most of the time these children are picked up as soon as possible and normally are not able to grab any of their things like clothes and other personal items. LOR, then receives orders to help give those children of few of their necessities. When we first arrived we began sorted through bags of clothes that had been donated into correct bins were they would soon be sorted again. After awhile we started filling orders which means we were able to go through the rooms to find a weeks’ worth of outfits for each child. We included everything from socks and coats to school supplies and books. It was fun to fill orders because it was like shopping, but for a good cause. I was given a three year old boy and although it was hard to pick out outfits because you have no clue what their personality is, you just have to keep in mind that they just need clothes to get them started and will hopefully be happy with what they receive. After picking out outfits, which I might say I picked out some pretty cute ones, I packed him a backpack and a stuffed animal that I sure hope he will like!

The building of the LOR had so many rooms for each age group and then they were broken into separate rooms for each season; summer and winter. We organized every room and filled all the shelves as full as we could get them. Near the end of the day we unloaded a box of children’s books which brought back a lot of memories because I was finding books that I used to read as a kid. It was moving knowing that other children would be receiving those books and would get the chance to read them as well. I’m very glad that we were able to help out Rhonda, the Clothing Closet Director, and everyone else that worked there by organizing some of their donations. After talking to Rhonda and hearing about how they fill about 200-300 orders per month, and about 700 orders in August which just crazy to think about, hopefully what we did will help them fill the orders faster and easier!

Erica-Monday

Today we went to the Lowcounty Orphan Relief.  When children are taken from their homes because of neglect or abuse, they sometimes are taken during school or at night.  They don’t always have time to get their things from their home and the foster parents who are going to be taking care of them don’t have the money to provide the children with these things.  In this case, they can go to the Orphan Relief and get the things they need.  They provide clothes, school uniforms and supplies, stuffed animals, books, shoes, and toiletries for the children.  They have about 10 rooms packed full of clothes. While at the service site, we had to sort donations of clothes that people had brought and put it in the correct room.  Some people also had to rake leaves around the building and put them into bags.

One rewarding thing about today was picking out clothes for a child who needed it.  I had to pick out clothes for a 3 year old boy. It felt good being able to find the things that some kid needed.  It is also good to know that I can do something to help even though we didn’t get to see any of the kids.  They had so much stuff that had been donated that there was no way they would be able to get anything done if there weren’t volunteers to help with the sorting. I feel like it makes it much easier for the center to help the children.

One frustrating thing about today was when we were raking the leaves. At first we tried to sweep the leaves off of the side walk and driveway but it was really hard. We couldn’t get all of the leaves into a good pile.  We then had to rake some and put them into bags. It was harder than we expected and then while we were putting the leaves in the bag we noticed that there were a lot of ants in the piles.  We got several bites from the ants which were really itching and stinging for a while.

Today was a good day.  I started talking to several people that I hadn’t really talked to before.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these people and I’ve had a good time. I hope the rest of the trip will be just as good.

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