In May, we had an idea to collect used handbags, fill them with hygiene and beauty products and donate them to less fortunate women whose budgets had no room for personal care items.
We set a loose goal of 100 bags. We raised enough funds for 56.
Over the July-August vacation, we did mentorship sessions with 17 girls, educating them at the point where school sometimes stops: finances, career paths, mental and physical health. We tried to encourage their goals, to widen their dreams, to push them toward excellence.
In August, we did our usual Back to School project where we managed to fill the booklists for 67 children from less fortunate homes.
I’ve heard it said that numbers like these are so minimal, that they ought not to be bothered with. That unless our leaders allocate more funds to education, and poverty eradication, our efforts will be but a drop in the ocean. That if there is to be real, noticeable change, it won’t be because of our small numbers.
I am eternally grateful that none of the amazing super-women in my club would be swayed from the projects we do, just because there is so much more to be done and people to be helped.
56, 17 and 67 are way more than just numbers for the members of my club.
We’ve seen first-hand how special a woman feels to receive a handbag, not just for the items inside but because she now had a bag to pack her belongings when it was time to leave the Shelter.
Nothing could convince me that the time put into mentoring a small group of girls, engaging in conversation with them, listening to their thoughts, equipping them with the tools we lacked years ago and making sure they knew they were worth every bit of it, was wasted time.
Seeing the burden lift, almost tangibly, off of a mother being presented with schoolbooks, and the way a child’s eyes shines on sight of her brand-new books; are tell-tale signs of the fact that this is not the way back-to-school prep usually goes for that family. And it is enough of a reason to make sure we do this project every year.
My SIAN sisters and I firmly believe in the importance of doing what we can, when we can, no matter how seemingly small; because the impact of our projects is anything but.
I’m sure the 56, 17 and 67 all feel the same.
Written by Angel Nyla Kungiesingh