Today, we volunteered at what was essentially a giant Christmas party for those of Charleston that were in need in one way or another. I chose to help out with “maintenance” – essentially to pick up garbage. This gave me a opportunity to look around and see everything, as opposed to being in one place. I was not particularly surprised by what I saw; what I WAS surprised by is how shocked my peers were at what they saw when we discussed our experiences afterwards. I always forget that people who live in other places are not used to this kind of things – not the volunteering and helping, but the poverty faced by people like the ones we were there to help. Where I live, a very large percentage of the population is impoverished, just like these people. Nothing is done for them. So while I hate to say that I am “used to seeing this” and while I don’t want to detract from what anyone did today, I must point out that the work that we did does not turn us into amazing, helpful people. Many people here and around the world live in poverty and they receive no help. If we want to take something away from today, it is that helping a few people once is not nearly enough. However, it is a good way to start and to get an understanding of what is happening outside of ones own small universe.