Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Set Up

Since I started work, I've been wanting to participate in an apartment set up, but unfortunately, until today, I hadn't been given the opportunity.

In a nutshell, our organization receives clients throughout the week. When a new arrival is slated to come, it's our responsibility to set up an apartment for them the day before their arrival with furniture, food and other basic necessities so when they stumble into their new home, exhausted from travel and the unknown, they're covered for a few days to get their bearings as best they can.

Today, I learned just how basic those necessities are.

Three of us went to Walmart and went shopping off of a list which included things like "female deodorant" and "laundry soap." Total, the apartment I set up cost $194 (not counting furniture). That's it. $194 covered everything from dish soap to a shower curtain to pots and pans and sheets and utensils and towels and dishes and toiletries.

In one way, $194 went a long way. I mean, we got a significant amount of stuff for that apartment. But simultaneously, I kept thinking how much excess there is in this world and in my life. I don't go around dropping $200 on stuff every weekend, but it was a bit of a sobering thought that the money I spend on miscellaneous and inconsequential things in a few weeks could put together an apartment for a family of 3.

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