May 15, 2019 - 130220

Service as Action Reflection

Background Information
I volunteered at the Crossroads Foundation, a charity which delivers supplies to people in need all around the world donated by local businesses and individuals. Volunteering at Crossroads involves sorting and packaging supplies, including clothes, computers, furniture, stationery, etc.
1. How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
Volunteering at the Crossroads foundation allowed me to realize that there were many things I didn’t know/ or could improve in (eg: fixing computers/electronics, spreadsheet tricks, assembling furniture, etc). There were a variety of departments specializing in specific tasks, many of which I had to learn for the first time.

2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

In the electronics department, I learned how to properly prepare and package computers for shipping. I had to figure out how to package the components so that they would not be damaged while shipping, while making sure that I was packing them as efficiently as possible.

3. How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
How volunteering at Crossroads works : If I want to volunteer that week I send them an email saying that I am going, we do this because there is a limited number of people that can volunteer per day, sometimes crossroads has more volunteers than they can handle (supervise), but on other days they don’t have enough. So we needed to plan which days we should volunteer.

4. How did you persevere in action?

I think researching which NGO to volunteer for was the hardest thing I had to persevere through so far. Not receiving replies from several NGOs I email was very discouraging. but I kept trying and eventually got a reply, but I think in the next few weeks the hardest thing will be consistently volunteering. Due to exams and the summer holiday, it may be a long time before I volunteer. So after the break, I need to make sure I keep volunteering every week.

5. How did you work collaboratively with others?

I planned to volunteer at the same time as my friends, so we had to work together to figure out how to get there at the same time. I also had to work together with other volunteers I didn’t know, from many different backgrounds and cultures. We had to work together as a team to take inventory and package items as efficiently as possible, creating a supply chain.

6. How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding? 

I learned about different cultures since crossroads delivers to countries all over the world (eg: Ethiopia, Sudan, etc) so when processing donations I needed to consider the needs of the people there. We don’t know what people donate until we open the box. For example, somebody donated a toy gun. So we made sure the gun was not sent to any inappropriate places (eg: a war-torn area). Some types of clothing are also sensitive (too revealing for some cultures) so we need to keep that in mind.

7. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

If a package that contains inappropriate contents is sent to a certain country, then what are the ethical implications? Is it offensive to send some packages? So I need to make sure I am careful with what I approve. I have a certain power when sorting through donations to send to different countries.


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