So far, various members of our group have helped scrub every inch of the shelter, serve dinner, and supervise the children living there. This semester we mainly observed the people living at Harmony House by doing general labor, so that next semester we can focus our efforts where there are needed most.
In addition to helping out both the staff and those helped by Harmony House, we wished to use this experience as a way to explore our own talents. We came into this semester wishing to put on a performance for the children, but we realized that the needs of the shelter outweighed our own personal wishes. However, we have, as we desired at the beginning of the semester, become skilled at planning and organizing events, such as our personal care item fundraiser. It took not only the efforts of Bridget, who spear-headed that particular fundraiser, but the planning of all of us to find time to breathe life to our campaign.
Through the semester, we were able to help out around the house for about 5 hours, help with raising money, and collect about $1500 worth of personal care items for the residents. In the house, we helped clean, serve dinner, and take care of the children. We were able to fulfill our goal of doing a fundraiser/charity drive for the house.
One of the big surprises in our project was how well the charity went. We did the charity drive at a CVS the weekend before Thanksgiving, hoping that the upcoming holiday would put people in a charitable mood. We were expecting to maybe get about $200-$300 worth of products. There happened to be a sale on a lot of personal care items at the store that weekend, which made it easier for people to donate more products. We also happened to meet a few people who were “extreme couponers” who donated many bags of personal care items. In the end, we ended up collecting almost $1500 worth of items. We hope to do another charity drive next semester after this semester’s success.
One of the big challenges in our project was time management. We knew that at the beginning of the year that it might be difficult to be getting in the 15 hours per semester with our busy schedules. It sounds easy enough when you make a plan of doing an hour or two per week for 3 months. Then, you have auditions, jobs, homework and many other things to put into the equation. We were luckily able to fit in all of the hours, but it took a lot more planning than expected. We have now realized that one of our focuses for next semester need to be making and keeping a time management plan.