One of the classes I have taken during the second semester at ASU is Geography of World Crises. This is taught by Dr. Larson and involves the class as a group discussing different issues that the world face today. These can range from gender inequality to the rise of extremism and the damage we are doing to the environment. Aside from these discussions, we also had to take part in two days of service, where we volunteered either on campus or in the local community to help sustainability projects and those who are less fortunate than ourselves. The two projects I took part in was orange picking for the campus diners and the United Food Bank who provide food for families that cannot afford their own.
The orange picking was done on campus. The Tempe campus at ASU grows their own oranges that they then use in their diners to provide students with fresh, healthy orange juice which is made using the best organic ingredients. The picking was actually very simple to do, the main tool was a basket with an extendable handle. As you extended the handle to reach the oranges which were high up in the trees, you used the basket to knock the oranges off the branches which you then caught with the basket and brought them down to place in the bucket we were each given. In total myself and my partner picked oranges from four different orange trees, and we even had a family come up to us to ask us if they could take some oranges themselves, which we of course let them do.
The second day of service was larger. The day itself was called ‘Devils in Disguise’ and was a university wide event. This involved multiple projects in the community, the organization I got involved with was the United Food Bank. The day involved meeting on Campus at 7am before getting the shuttle to the Food Bank which was in nearby Mesa. Once we were there we were split into teams to work on different parts of the production line with the aim of getting the donated food from the donation bins into sorted boxes ready to be sent to the people who need them. I was involved in the initial sorting of the food, which meant that I had to check that any items that were out of date, damaged or that didn’t contain their own nutritional labels were thrown away. Once this was done I then had to sort the food into different groups such as meat, fish or soup and then place these boxes onto the conveyor belt for further sorting. In total we managed to sort 10, 000 lbs. of food in the four hours that we were in the warehouse for which was a new record. This made me feel proud of our achievements as a group, and it was good knowing that I had helped to give back to the community that has been so welcoming to me for the year that have been here for.