04 October 2011

makin' progress

280 posts. We're like past the seventh inning stretch.
So today, in addition to sort of being on top of things, I got word back from my principal that I can do the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet at school in November! I'm so excited, but there are a ton of things that need to get done first, like allocating work to volunteers, finding resources and speakers, and memorizing the script. But I have a little bit of public speaking background, so let's hope it goes well. I still have time.
So today when my economics teacher didn't come to school again because her kid was sick (that kid really needs some sort of immunotherapy program), and we had already finished everything from yesterday, I was talking with my friend about the volunteer positions. Whoever signed up first gets first dibs on the best jobs. Not that there are better jobs; well, there sort of are. There are easy jobs and hard ones. But she picked a hard job, so at least I have eager volunteers.
She was asking me more about the hunger banquet, so I was telling her that it was an awareness thing, not necessarily something to raise money. And she sort of thought it was preposterous to have a banquet without making donations.
The problem with donations is that it's almost like a short-term fix to a problem. We see the Unicef commercials of starving kids in Africa, we donate some money, and the end. We see the church collections for charities, and we bring a can of tuna, and the end. But we don't ever really confront the problem. It's like a get-out-of-jail-free card in Monopoly. You get out, but do you learn anything?
That's what the banquet's about. It's an indirect way of getting people's attentions. And what better way to do it than to bring the problem into their own lives with a realistic simulation of world poverty (details to come)? Because education is what makes people feel; and the way people feel is the way people act. If people experience poverty - even a watered down version in a simulation - they will feel how others feel in real life. And this empathy will hopefully empower them to use what they have to help people who cannot help themselves. And that's how change happens - through ideas put into action; something a can of tuna can't do.
So I hope my banquet goes well, and I hope it empowers people to make a difference.

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