For my third category of events for the International Affairs scholars program, I attended the Breathe Hope OSU Service Event making blankets for children with cystic fibrosis on Thursday, November 15 from 7:00-8:00 PM in the Ohio Staters Inc. Room in Ohio Union. This event fulfilled the service requirement.
This activity impacted me because it allowed me to make a difference in a child’s life without taking a significant chunk of time out of my day. This serves as an example that we can all volunteer some portion of our time every day to create good in the world and make a positive impact. With only one hour, I was able to cut and tie blankets together to give to children with cystic fibrosis.
This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because kindness makes the world go round. There is so much conflict and negatively between countries but simple service and giving can change lives. Peaceful discussion and helping others when possible will solve numerous issues. This is something that diplomats consistently try to combat and improve across communities. We can do more to improve relations between people starting with our own living community all the way to countries around the world.
After attending the event I was interested in learning more about cystic fibrosis. I learned that it is “a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time” (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). It is nice to know that the affected kids truly receive things that they need. Personally, I gained a new perspective on volunteering as well as basic knowledge on how to construct tie blankets. Professionally, I had more experience working with others to achieve a common goal. I brought my IA friend Becca to the event and we worked together to complete the blanket.
While not necessarily coursework, this event relates to many of the topics addressed in the foundations of being a Morrill Scholar. It encompasses leadership, service, and social justice. There is even a service learning class offered that allows students to volunteer outside of class and experience meaningful contributions to society. The academic specifics also overlap with my biology class. We learned about genetics and cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. People must have two copies of the defective gene, one from each parent. Therefore children can also become carriers. It is interesting to see how genetics actually affects peoples lives and the diseases that can emerge from mutations.
After attending this event, I wonder how else I can become involved with the Breathe Hope club. I truly agree with their missions and values. Based on their student organization description I can tell they host a variety of events through yoga, service, educational events, and community outreach. I also wonder how else I can become involved with service events and volunteer activities around me. I am interested in finding other one hours events to make my impact on the world. There are countless opportunities out there, it is just up to me to find them and utilize them for good.