In Part 3 of our interview series with the Murawski Family, we are hearing from Claire Murawski, a Junior at Eastside Catholic High School! While her family got involved with Sister Schools in 2008, when her brother Alex was a Kindergartener, Claire first participated in a supply drive as a 1st grader in 2010!
Since then, Claire has traveled to Uganda with us – TWICE, packed hundreds of boxes of supplies, and even brought her friends to volunteer at our Annual Gala!
Learn more about how Claire has grown up with Sister Schools and what has stuck with her through the years!
How has your participation in the program changed your outlook on the world?
From my very first time sorting in the warehouse, to my multiple trips with Sister Schools, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. Living in the Sammamish “bubble”, you get very used to the same thing and not seeing the hard things people go through. I really didn’t realize the effect my work was making until my trip to Uganda. When sorting you see the pictures of the kids with the item you might have remembered packing in a box, but you don’t realize how life changing it is. You look at a picture and realize “oh I remember packing that cute dress and its going to look so cute on the little girl holding it up”, not realizing it may be her only piece of new clothing she will get for a while.
After experiencing Uganda with people I will have lifelong connections with now, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I remember being absolutely shell shocked when we first arrived. I was very shy and felt uncomfortable because I realized the privilege I had, and felt like I couldn’t help, and was saddened by what I saw. After a while, and especially after my second trip I took, I realized how you don’t need material goods to make you happy and it is about enjoying life. The people I met were always so grateful and happy, despite how little they had. I began to open up and play with more kids, and talk to more people about their lives. My favorite thing to do when visiting schools is when all the girls come over and just want to stroke my hair because it is different to them. it is just amazing to see how curious and excited they get to see something new like hair, when that is a normal thing here.
What Sister Schools memory or moment has stuck with you the most?
My favorite memory from being a part of Sister Schools would probably be my second trip to Africa - I am very close to the women on that trip and consider them all my role models! I loved playing cards with the team members, and Alison lining the kids up for pictures in her silly glasses and her stick!
You have participated in Sister Schools in many different ways – sorting supplies, helping at the gala, traveling to Uganda. What has been your favorite way to volunteer?
My favorite way to volunteer has been the experiences in Africa and being hands on and seeing the whole process and how it unfolds. I love the behind the scenes and seeing the big smiles on the kids faces!
If you could say one thing to the students who will participate next year, what would it be?
To all the future students out there I would say to just have fun with the service you are doing. When you bring a friend to the warehouse to sort or find an activity in the organization that makes you happy, it will make the hours fly by and allow you to make amazing memories!
Thanks for everything Sister Schools!