I had the privilege to have my first official pack with LNI at the Dayton STEM on Wednesday, and it was an incredibly fulfilling and uplifting experience. I had been in the 24-hour Pack-a-Thon last spring, which was my first exposure to LNI, but I had never sat through a pack start to finish. We headed out to Dayton at the crack of dawn which, as a college student, is earlier than I ‘ve had to wake up in a long time. I fell asleep on the twenty-minute drive and was worried I would be too tired to be any use. But the energy and excitement from both LNI and the STEM students when we got there was enough to perk me up and carry me through. The STEM students were incredible; everyone was organized and ready to help in any way they could, and between them and the Wittenberg students we made quick work of set up and tear down.
I was surprised at how simple a pack is. No matter what job you’re doing, it’s easy to learn, and it’s simple and repetitive enough that I got an opportunity to talk with the others in my line and make some new friends. My line was all Wittenberg students, which I appreciated because I got a chance to learn how a pack worked so the next time I do a pack I’ll be able to help others learn. And I absolutely plan on doing another pack when I can.
We packed until we literally couldn’t anymore. We planned to go until 11am, but we ran out of vitamin packs by 10 and had to stop after hitting our goal and packing around 19,000 meals. It still blows my mind how many meals that really is, and how much work we’re doing. It’s so fulfilling to know that the work I did is going to save someone’s life; I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like that before. And yet still so much work to be done, and it only inspires me to stay involved and do everything that I can to help Lesotho.
-Elena Dumm ‘20