Before the experience, what did you think would happen?
Before my project, I thought that I would have a similar outcome to previous years as far as collecting and distributing donation items. I believed that I would be able to make about fifteen care and food packages to pass out to homeless individuals. I knew this would be a challenging project to collect the very specific items that I was asking for, so I was a little bit nervous, but knew I was up for the challenge.
What did you expect to gain from an educational stand-point?
From an educational stand-point, I expected to gain more leadership skills, accountability skills, and acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems of homeless individuals. In addition, I expected to learn how to solve problems and produce results that matter.
What new knowledge did you hope to gain from this experience?
From this experience, I was hoping to gain a greater depth of understanding of our homeless community. I had a desire to discover what they actually needed, not just what I thought they wanted. From the beginning, I thought that food and various clothing items would be ideal for them, but I was hoping to learn other things that would be useful and helpful.
What new relationships did you gain from this experience?
I can honestly say through this experience, I gained multiple new relationships. First, I was able to build new relationships with people in my community who helped spread the word of my project by sharing it on several social media pages or donating to my cause. Second, I was able to form a closer relationship with my uncle Donnie, who I had no idea shared the same passion as me. Third, I built a stronger bond with my friends and family who helped purchase, sort, and distribute items. Lastly and most importantly, I developed new relationships with some of the homeless individuals that I will cherish forever.
How did you think you would benefit from your involvement?
From my involvement in this project, I thought that I would benefit from simply just being out there and seeing their situation, because it would make me feel grateful and appreciative for what I have in my life. In addition, I thought I would benefit from having conversations with the homeless individuals and learning about them and how their community works.