Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – We All Want To Be Warm

Name: Shelby Nadine Slemmer
From: Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Grade: 11
School: Owen J. Roberts School District
Votes: 45

Slemmer
2

We
All Want To Be Warm

I
have been involved with various service opportunities throughout my
high school career as the Vice President of a service club. I credit
Anchor Club for teaching me gratefulness, as the service projects I
have volunteered in often involve others in need, who have been
struck by much greater disaster than any small problem of mine in
comparison. I have learned to have empathy and compassion for others,
as it is not one’s fault they need help, nor are they typically
proud of asking for it. I have learned creativity, and to be a
forward thinker, as I constantly propose new projects. Volunteering
has even inspired me in choosing my future career, nursing. I have
become intrinsically motivated to change the lives of others
positively. I have volunteered with various local and national
organizations, however, the project which has resonated within my
heart the most when I collected warm clothes and shoes to donate to
Puerto Rican refugees at a shelter in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Hurricane
disaster struck Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017, completely uprooting
the lives of millions. This beautiful island was struck by
catastrophe, and the citizens left alone in tragedy. After time went
by of citizens searching for any remaining belongings and even
missing family and friends, they were forced to flee to other States
to survive. Our brothers and sisters were left to run with nothing-
completely unprepared for the harsh winters on the East Coast.

When
I was told a chairman for the committee to collect donations of warm
clothing and shoes for the Puerto Rican refugees, I jumped at the
chance. Immediately I thought of the victims I knew personally, as
the family of friends lived in Puerto Rico and became refugees
themselves.

This
project ran from January to March, totaling over fifty hours to
complete as the communication, collection, counting, and distribution
of the clothing was tasking. My responsibility as chairman was not
only to oversee the operation, but to promote the drive, collect the
items, sort/count them, and ensure the drive was successful and the
clothing and shoes were received by the refugees. My largest
challenge as a volunteer on this project was not a physical task, but
the desire to do more. I went to my neighbors, teachers, friends, and
even my dentist to request donations. Despite the great outcome from
the drive, having hundreds of items delivered to those in need during
this brutal Pennsylvanian winter, I wished to do more for the
refugees. I have began to donate to other organizations who are
working to rebuild Puerto Rico and help those who have been effected
to recover from such. My greatest satisfaction as a volunteer is
knowing that the actions which I am involved in are changing the
lives of others positively, therefore changing the world positively.
I hope to use my volunteer experiences to inspire others to create
positive change and help others, both in their community and
globally.


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