The Procedure: Grab a plastic bag, stuff in 4 toothbrushes (pass it on), 1 tube of toothpaste, 2 combs (pass), jam in 2 rolled-up towels (the "towel rollers" develop some nice forearm muscles :) (pass), slide 2 bars of soap in next to the towels. Shove it down the table, grab it and throw it under the sealing machine, stuff 5 completed kits in a box, tape the box, throw it onto the ever-growing stack of boxes.
We assembled humanitarian kits tonight! The Church used to ship big crates of kits over here for distribution, but it got insanely expensive to mail them over (something crazy like $10,000 a crate or thereabouts). So instead of spending all the money on shipping charges, this semester the Church decided to do an experiment. Instead of shipping ready-made humanitarian kits here, someone came up with the idea of purchasing all the products here (that way we can support local companies and boost the economy) and have people in Israel assemble them. Aka...the extremely lucky students at the Jerusalem Center. BOO YA. I almost feel guilty that this service is so easy.
I remember assembling humanitarian kits as a Laurel class and we helped out so much: each person got to make three whole kits. (Then the funding ran out.) Nice to be able to serve, but pretty lame to be honest. This is the first time in my life I've been able to help make hygiene kit after hygiene kit after hygiene kit - and I LOVE it. The best part is - well, there are 2 best parts. First of all, we can make TONS of these hygiene kits! Supplies don't run out after three or ten or even a hundred. And this isn't a one-time thing, but we get to do this at least two times a week for the rest of the semester. You have no idea how happy this makes me. Secondly, we know exactly where these kits are going - to a place just an hour's drive away, where there was a war last month. A place called Gaza. A place where there are 1.5 million people living in an area just twice the size of Washington D.C. Where the average age is a mere 17 years. Where 1300 were killed and 5400 wounded during the conflict with Israel. A place that is war-torn and ravaged with violence, fear, and anger.
I think I could spare a few minutes of my Friday night to help out.
The best part is, while this is such a fun, easy opportunity to serve and help out, we can be serviceable without making hygiene kits. I know each of us can find a way to make a difference for good, regardless of how many humanitarian aid projects you manage to squeeze into your schedule.
Have I done any good in the world today?
There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try," but go and do something today!
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."