We made bracelets. That money could have been used to give back more directly. So could the time we spent there.
I was really excited when I found out we would be volunteering at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. I have many veterans in my family and I know how much it means to them to spend time with company and tell their stories. However, soon after arriving at the home I realized we would not be participating in any meaningful work. We were moved to a room in the basement away from anyone who lived in the retirement home and spent the whole time making paracord bracelets. What use an elderly person in a retirement home has for a paracord bracelet, I have no idea. I was also under the impression while we were making these bracelets that we would be giving them to the veterans ourselves, but after a few hours of making them we just left them where we were and got back on the bus. Overall this activity was a waste of everyone's time and I wish I had just volunteered somewhere on my own, where I could be sure I wouldn't be doing pointless, impersonal busy work. I get a little sense of fulfillment from spending six hours doing work for others, but I would feel a lot better if the work actually helped anybody.
I had the opportunity to network with other Community Engaged Scholars as I shared my work as an Eco-Equity Recipient and additionally meet a number of contacts that I am looking forward to incorporating into my outreach and network of impact driven changemakers.
This year we hosted our first fall philanthropy in the form of a tea cup raffle! Prizes were collected amongst Brothers through donations and put on display in Kogan Plaza. Throughout the day, people had to opportunity to purchase tickets and place them into a basket for the chance to win the prize.
We raised $235.50 and brothers contributed 26 total volunteer hours in the day to put the event together. While this seem a small number and there is room for improvement, having never hosted a fall philanthropy I am proud of the work that we have done and look forward to the future.