The tragedy that took place that fateful December morning at Sandy Hook Elementary is one that we as a nation will never forget. But, in the midst of the sadness and devastation Americans banded together in solidarity, sending messages and support to the families left to deal with the aftermath.
One Arlington, Mass. teen was moved to help and jumped into action. Beverly Lipsey, along with her DoSomething.org club, high school, and community collected 127 teddy bears to send to children and families affected by the Newtown shooting. Check out her interview below!
Who/what inspired you to create (or join) a DoSomething.org club?
I was inspired by DoSomething.org's mission and the diverse causes that they promote. Arlington High School did not have a Do Something club so when I found out about the organization I was not only excited to join but to share such an amazing movement of education, activism, and volunteerism with my school. The club was established in the fall of 2012.
What is the most kickass project you've done so far?
The best project we completed was the Teddy Bear Drive for the children and families affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT. We partnered with the organization Pheonix999.org who started the drive. In just 48 hours, the Arlington community pulled together to collect a total of 127 teddy bears which we shipped to Pheonix999, who hand delivered them to the children in Newtown as they returned to school in the new year (2013). This was our second project this year, and it was most inspiring to see such an immense impact in such short time when the whole community pulled together.
What was one challenge you faced? And how did you overcome it?
Our challenge was the time restraint as we found out about the drive on Wednesday Dec. 18th and the last day before break was Friday Dec. 21st. In order to spread the word, we turned to friends to get the information out by word of mouth, we turned to our teachers to announce it during class and we turned to our principal who sent out a mass email to all families and faculty of the Arlington High School community. We received permission to place the collection box in the main office for easy access and to place flyers on every table in the cafeteria to explain the cause. The challenge was met with such amazing support – we can certainly call this project a success.
Any advice for students looking to take action around issues they care about?
If your school does not have a DoSomething.org Club, start one and if they do, join! Our advice as a new club is to get people talking about Do Something, and take action fast to establish the club. This will let everyone know you are serious. Appoint different tasks among club members for each project, this way everyone is involved and no one person is responsible for all the work. Lastly, find a cause you are really passionate about and create a project that will be fun for the school and influential in your community. Good Luck!