It is a pretty sad statement when one uses a volunteer effort that directly saves lives to try to make oneself feel better – sad on so many levels. Yes, I’ve had a horrible, horrible week at work, and am in a very blue funk, but children are dying of dehydration and are in need of packets of electrolytes (salt, potassium, baking soda, sugar, etc..) to live. A massive group got together today in Alexandria, Virginia, to put those packets together – it was an amazing blend of people, and great work was done. And I knew it would help put my woes in perspective. But when I say that this volunteer effort helped me feel better, though, that is also a sad statement. Because my volunteering in this case shouldn’t focus on me feeling better in comparison. It should focus on the fact that there are children dying out there and we can help save them.
70 small packets of electrolytes = 1 child’s life saved. That was the quote I was given today.
The goal: 20,000 packets. 285 lives.
This was the 9th or 11th (different sources) annual Save the Children volunteer effort organized at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation. The packets are called oral rehydration packets – basically small plastic packets in which we put dry ingredients, to which water can be added once abroad. These packets were destined for Liberia.
I had signed up for this event via One Brick, sortof a volunteer clearinghouse located in DC as well as other cities, for the afternoon shift, and all of us One-Brickers sat together at one table. We chatted, we laughed, we considered the numbers, we got up and stretched after two hours of work, before doing another 45 mins. We wound up being one of the last 3 tables (out of 15 or so). But when the salt ran out on our table, and everybody else was finishing as well, we went ahead and called it a day — only to find out later that the number of packets had reached 19,970. If we had only known, we would have stayed to just do those 30 more packets, to have help the effort reach its goal. I have no idea how many we did exactly, but hundreds. Enough to have sore shoulders.
I am glad to have been part of this, but that is only my own personal benefit to this – hopefully the packets will arrive safely, and make a difference. Tremendous kudos to volunteer efforts like this.