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Monday afternoon, we arrived at Project Hope eager to help sort food for the food pantry that they keep in stock. Project Hope isn’t a food bank, so they don’t have refrigerators or anything to keep food, and they’re privately funded, so what they get are any nonperishables that people decide to donate. The food is then sorted and stored, and bagged for caseworkers to take with them to distribute. What awaited us upon arrival were bags upon bags of food, needed to be checked for expiration dates, sorted by date, and shelved accordingly. The shelves that existed also needed to be completely rearranged, again by date and category.

Esther and I set out to begin our set of shelves. One at a time, each can needed to be taken down, labeled with the expiration date, sorted by year of expiration, and reshelved, with soonest to retire in front. This painstaking process found us sitting on the floor amidst piles and piles of cans. Shelf by shelf we reorganized the food, and soon the pantry was looking much better than it had when we arrived.

What continues to blow my mind about Orange County is just how many Porsches, Teslas, and even Aston Martins we continually see on our commute to work every day. At home, I think I’ve seen two Lamborghinis in my entirety of 20 years. Here, I’ve seen two in two days. The inequality that exists here is astounding. Some can own multi-million dollar beach homes along with an inland mansion and a few sports cars thrown in for good measure while others can’t even be sure where they’re going to sleep that night or where their next meal is coming from. Camp starts next week, and this is where some of the girls will be coming from. Right now, they’re stationed in the middle of drastic inequality. I know Duke makes me uncomfortable with the large sums of money that they spend on seemingly trivial things, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like to grow up here in this situation. I hope that come Monday and the start of camp, I’ll be able to make some sort of impact on a girl’s life.

On that note, we moved all of our supplies to OCC on Friday! T’was a toasty 110 degrees, no humidity at least, but we got everything into our room. Come Monday, our days will be jam-packed 8-5 with constant interaction with the girls, lesson facilitation, and classroom management. It’ll be hard, but I’m convinced that it’ll be an immensely rewarding four weeks.