Greater Than Ourselves

It was a cold Wednesday afternoon when I found myself on State street, an affluent, arguably-gentrified neighborhood near Enloe. Each fresh gust of wind found its way through the holes in my sweater and directly onto my skin, and every so often my group would need to sit in my parked car to warm up again. The purpose of my being there was to canvass, that is, to ask for household donations for Enloe Charity Ball.

The majority of houses don’t answer, which almost feels like a relief because there’s something profoundly unsettling about asking strangers for money. In that moment, as you give the spiel about your cause and your prospective benefactors look down on you with what may be feigned or sincere interest, you get a profound feeling of hopelessness. Houses rarely give out cash, and no matter how many doors you knock on in an hour that won’t change.

It isn’t until after you’ve packed back into your car, cranked on the heat, and driven home that you appreciate what you’ve managed to do. It’s seeing the $100 online donation from the man with the dog who wouldn’t sit still, or handing a donation letter to the enthusiastic arm of a young mother as her other cradles one of the cutest newborns you’ve ever seen. The little moments that stand out as evidence you have to be doing the right thing.

But more than anything else, what inspires me is not anything I can tangibly hold, send, or view on a screen. It is the belief that I can make a difference, and the belief that I already have. If you asked me the single most important word to describe Charity Ball, I would choose faith. Even though we all feel like insignificant players on an ever-tilting stage at times, when we have faith that the smallest of our actions will yield changes far beyond what we can ever hope to see, that is when we make the most difference.

Charity Ball will end December 8, but there are young men and women in the IGNITE program who, for the rest of their lives, will feel the impact of what we have done here.

That isn’t insignificant.

Jack Thomas

Senior Class Advisory



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