Though China is often seen as a rising power in the international world, much of China still remains impoverished, especially in western provinces where minorities live. There the yearly family income of most families is less than 1900 RMB (about $250). Even though an education can be the difference between a life of crushing poverty and the chance for a better future, but the money is scare, and many can not afford to go to school.
The desire to help these children in their struggle to continue their education led to the creation of a national non-profit organization the Crossroads of Hope. In the first two years since its founding, the Crossroads of Hope has raised over $31,000 to benefit more than 100,000 children in rural China which was used to give scholarships, educational materials, establish libraries, and buy school supplies and subscription of children’s newspaper.
Now the Crossroads of Hope is also focused on raising awareness and cultural understanding and bridging the cultural gap between the East and the West.
The living conditions of children in rural China and especially their persistent attempts to continue education despite all the hardship prompted me to do more than feel chagrined and touched, so I began to take action. I immediately contacted the founder of a non-profit national organization and shared ideas with her about ways to help these children through the organization she had just started. I became deeply involved in defining the mission and the vision of the organization, establishing its structure, working on day-to-day planning and operations, and recruiting members. In addition, I created the organization’s name – Crossroads of Hope -- and designed the logo, informational posters, and the letterhead for marketing and fundraising events.
After getting the national organization off the ground, I saw the needs of having a local organization to bring the initiative to a new level. I started the Atlanta Chapter and recruited many classmates to join in the efforts. As the president and the founder of the Atlanta Chapter, I established the chapter organization structure and filled in key positions. Numerous planning meetings took place after school and during weekends to identify the roadmap of this non-profit organization and the activities needed to happen to raise money for the poor children’s education.
On one hand, I focused on growing the organization; on the other hand, I worked closely with schools and many local communities and businesses to seek support through sales activities and participating in private and public events: car washes, bake sales, book sales, Business Expos-anything to help make the organization known and raise funds. I recruited members from school and on the internet through Facebook.
The organization, nationally, became known to more people and got bigger. Now in our third year, Crossroads of Hope has received an outpouring of financial support. Through the efforts of over 80 active members to date, we have raised more than $31,000 to help over 100,000 poor children throughout the rural provinces in China with the scholarships, books, newspapers and school supplies.
This past June, representing the Atlanta Chapter, I traveled with members from other chapters, using the money saved up from my part time job, to Kaili to visit schools and present scholarships and books to the students. The trip to visit the poor children and the schools in China is the ultimate milestone of the accomplishment of our non-profit organization.