This is how Invisible Issues came to be, came to flourish, and came to touch people's lives.
In my sophomore year in High School, three Junior girls stood up and decided to show a video they watched one weekend - they held a screening for Invisible Children.
When I watched the video my emotions developed into tears. How could a nation end up so torn that rebel groups have the ability to rape young girls, torture families, and use child soldiers to murder other innocent civilians? I was outraged and empathetic, broken and grateful for where I live and who I am surrounded with. Those children had no control over the life they were born into and something, anything, must be done.
As a response to the screening, the three older girls decided to hold a dodge ball tournament to raise awareness and money for Invisible Children. I volunteered to help out only to find myself become engrossed in something beyond my control! I became so involved that this year, my Junior year, I became one of the leaders for the first year of our school's philanthropy club, Invisible Issues.
With two of the original three girls who started philanthropy awareness (Shaina and Elena) and one other Junior (Lindsey), we combined our ideas and resources to get the ball rolling. Our first mission was to find a project for the year. Being realistic, four girls cannot stop world poverty in just one day. However, four girls CAN help one group of people at a time. Through Youth Philanthropy Worldwide, we chose a program called Children's Town. Children's Town is an AIDS orphanage in Zambia that helps educate and nurture 120 select children from the streets that parents had died from AIDS. This orphanage does not just make sure that the children are healthy, but also provides education that teaches the children how to be independent and work in the business industry. Working with YPW and other organizations, such as our community center's youth organization, we formulated a plan and a goal to help raise money for this invisible issue.
This year's goal is to raise ten thousand dollars for the AIDS orphanage through selling tote bags, hats, t-shirts, buttons, hosting our 2nd Annual Inter-District Dodge ball Tournament, hosting the 1st Annual Invisible Issues Benefit Concert, sitting in front of Star bucks in cold mornings, and other means of fund raising.
Already, we have been published twice in the local newspaper and twice in Mercury News! Though we have raised over 2,000 dollars since the beginning of the year, it is not even half of what we hoped for. However, we believe that it is still possible to reach that 10,000 through local business donations and matching opportunities. We will continue thinking of new ways to get the community involved, raise more awareness, and continue being involved in other small projects that help reach out to the many people in need.
America is so wealthy: we do not face the troubles that many other nations do; we can not fully realize the sufferings people have to endure every day of their lives simply because never experienced a life without our luxuries. With such privileged lives, should we not give back to the world and share the wealth that is tucked right under our belts?
Four girls might not be able to save the world, but with YOUR support, anything can happen.
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The T.A.P. website will also be up shortly!