At GreenDrop we couldn’t be happier that the Giving Season is here. We’re spreading the spirit of generosity by sharing a story of an incredible student who organized a clothing drive for our partner, the National Federation of the Blind.
Learn more about Michael Herman, our giving student in the interview below.
Where did you come up with the idea to do a clothing drive to benefit the NFB?
I decided to do the clothing drive when I decided that I wanted to perform community service to help the blind. I inquired to Mr. Joe Ruffalo (President of the NFB New Jersey) about reading to the blind, but this was not necessary as there are now audio books. Instead, he emailed me information about GreenDrop for consideration. I liked the idea and wanted to bring GreenDrop to my school, Governor Livingston High School.
How long have you been involved with the National Federation of the Blind?
I first learned of the NFB over a year ago when my mom did me a favor and Googled “blindness organizations” that offer community service opportunities. The NFB was the first result. I called Mr. Ruffalo and the rest is history.
What made you want to become part of the National Federation of the Blind?
I wanted to perform community service that would benefit the blind and my school community. The NFB provided me the perfect opportunity. I have never experienced a blindness awareness program in any school, but one of the guidance counselors, Ms. Gold, is blind. It is important that students became aware of this reality because it affects members of my school.
What other organization/activities are you a part of?
I am a cabinet member of the Environmental Club, the vice president of Art Club, and the vice president of Spanish Club. I asked the Environmental Club to sponsor my GreenDrop program because it promoted recycling. Gently used items would be donated and reused instead of thrown out. I also volunteer at the Berkeley Heights Public Library once a week for a few hours.
What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to continue to be involved with the National Federation of the Blind?
For my career, I want to be a mathematician, a statistician, or a data analyst. I am sure that my profession will involve working with numbers. My short-term goal is to bring GreenDrop back to Governor Livingston High School this spring for another series of pickups. I plan on continuing to perform community service in college. I can contact the local NFB chapter in whatever state I attend college. I am sure that I will keep in touch with Mr. Ruffalo for many years.
Were you happy with the success of the event?
I think the pickups were highly successful. We collected roughly 40 bags and boxes of books, clothes, sporting goods, electronics, and more. I was glad that so many people wanted to get involved and donate. If GreenDrop returned in the spring and in years to come, we would experience a similarly large turnout.