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It is important to use youth to make positive changes. I decided to spend my summer organizing Kids for Kids Day, which gave youth a fun volunteer opportunity while helping children’s organizations to provide valuable services.
I took the initiative to bring into reality the design I developed, which changed over the summer as I incorporated ideas from others. The result was an innovative, uniquely organized fun day. Some of the elements, such as the “nut free, allergy aware” bake sale and the art and talent show, were common ideas with a creative twist. The event financially strengthened three organizations: Operation Christmas Child, Right to Play, and Camp Little Red. My friends and I were strengthened intellectually by handling conflict and remaining open to the opinions of others, especially adults, while keeping in mind that we cannot incorporate every idea. As a whole, we gained a stronger sense of perseverance and prioritization. I personally was strengthened by gaining experience with planning and design meetings, securing sponsors for prizes, and coordinating volunteers and performers. The event took place at the end of August after three months of learning and striving.
The money we raised will help make leaders of the children impacted by our three target organizations. Operation Christmas Child will give children interesting and useful gifts at Christmas; Right to Play will help children pursue health; and Camp Little Red will help children to become compassionate Christians. As for my team and me, we learned important life lessons such as never giving up, managing stress, and solving problems creatively. The small children who helped with poster-making and general tasks during the event also learned that they can contribute very important work. And we all learned that children and youth are a valuable source of creativity and drive in the humanitarian sector. Everyone should have the sense that they can be valued leaders. More information about Kids for Kids Day is available at www.openflame.tumblr.com.
My community is a small but widespread farming community, so we learn to be good neighbors to everyone, no matter where they live. I have been part of community activities both through my church and through my schools. One of my favorite volunteer activities through my church is being a waitress at the annual fish dinner fundraiser. At one of my schools I was part of the Junior High Students’ Union, helping them with school fundraisers. I even had the honour to be president one year. At another school I was part of the Environment Club and helped give a presentation to elementary students. When I was in online school, I volunteered both at the hospital and at the Salvation Army Food Bank. In between this, I have organized small charitable events with my friends, such as the bake sale I organized in elementary school to raise money for relief in Haiti after the earthquake. In my freshman year, I spent lunch hours once per week reading stories to the kindergarten class and helping the teacher with different tasks. Currently, I volunteer once per week helping with the freshman gym class.
Like all youth who feel charity and humanitarianism is important, I know that I cannot act alone. I must try to bring out the charitable spirit in other people. I believe in building humanitarians from the ground up, which means starting with youth. As both a leader and a follower, I know that a personal value of charity and the courage to pursue creativity are the foundations for success in life.
TD Scholarships for Community Leadership
November 9, 2014
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