I began my contribution to the non-profit organization Hand in Hand USA approximately 3 years ago at the age of 12. At the time, I was quite uncertain about my stance on the issue we aimed to address- the lack of support, hope, and opportunity for poor and needy children in Odisha that are absent of a beneficial education and a safe home. While I understood the purpose of our efforts, I failed to understand my role- I was 12, after all, and children can’t change the world in the way an adult can. At the very least, that was how I saw it in my own eyes.
This mentality of mine was maintained until I truly began working towards making a difference. Previously, I made quilled cards, gift tags, boxes, and bookmarks as a hobby- as I started directing these products towards the benefit of the non-profit, the revenue from these sold items was sent to Hand in Hand USA. I converted my interest for this specific craft into a small business under the name QuillTrunk, supported through my online platform for sales through Facebook. Additionally, I have sold several cards through my high school’s community activities, weddings, church baskets, and so forth. I had managed to raise 360 dollars and more- the amount necessary for a child to have full access to education for an entire year at Hand in Hand’s Hariharananda Balashram, Odisha.
It was then that I truly began to see the impact one child could have. To be provided with an education, with a home- it was a privilege I had often taken for granted, not one that all were provided with. Currently, I’m a freshman in Oswego East High School; my future, a college education, the life ahead of me is on my mind. For other 15-year-olds in some parts of the world, this is far from the case. Education may not be the highest on their list of priorities- it may not even be on their list of priorities. From one child to another, I began to realize that I can and should make a difference, that my age does not limit me from the impact I can create.
The aim of this sector of Hand in Hand USA is to provide impoverished children of Odisha with the basic care and education required by every child. Through my work and the work of others, we can move forward and achieve these goals, to provide others with the opportunities so many of us are blessed with. No matter who or where you are, no matter how much of an impact you believe you can make, it is vital to remember that even “One drop can make a difference.”
Freshman at OEHS