Zaenah's Blanket Foundation - ....wrapping children in love 1 blanket at a time
Reflections... Volunteers and Recipients tell us how they feel.
The experience of volunteering for this foundation was interesting to say the least, especially considering the fact that it was one of the first times that I ever helped any organization as large as this one. For the very first time I was able to receive a first hand account of just how many people just in Harlem were in desperate need of aid. Me along with two other students from Yonkers High were responsible for manning the front desk and being in charge of sign up sheets as well as bag distribution. There were three main bag sizes and the larger the family, the larger the bag that they were eligible to receive. Our supervisor put a lot of trust into our hands since she herself would not have been able to help us out and host the event at the same time. The second day of this event in particular was especially eye opening since my many years of learning Spanish was finally tested in the real world. The event itself took place in the lower floor of the church in Harlem and it took about two hours to help set everything up. Long tables were set along the sides of each wall and had many free donated clothes and toiletries. In the middle of the room were chairs for families to sit and participate in the main raffle. Families were allowed to take as much as they wanted or that could fit in their bags. and the Many other students from City College lent a hand by manning the desks and organizing the clothes necessary for distribution. Me and two other students were shocked by the amount of people waiting outside, most of which didn't even speak English. Within minutes the room filled with people and the environment was all sorts of chaotic. The pressure was particularly high when we ran out of bags entirely.Soon enough the building surpassed its maximum capacity and supplies were almost entirely depleted. On one hand the event was incredibly successful in that many people in need did show up and the event itself was advertised over the radio. Unfortunately, not every person who waited outside was able to get supplies for their families. Some people just didn't know about it and came too late before they were able to take what they needed. The people coming in were cooperative for the most part with few hiccups in the process. The toughest part was making sure that everyone was accounted for and signed the appropriate parts without skipping over anything. The final moments of the event were quite emotional for the supervisor because of her amazement at just how smooth the whole process was as well as just how much we were all able to help out for her cause. The total cleanup time was about 30 minutes and i was able to speak to many of the other volunteers who participated. It truly was incredibly rewarding to actually do some good for people and be apart of something much bigger than myself.