Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2018 – New Day Orphanage

Name: Avery Belle Tyson
From: Georgetown, Texas
Grade: 11
School: Gateway College Preparatory High School
Votes: 0

I volunteer for children in need, specifically those at New Day
Orphanage in Zambia. Helping young children has always been one of my
greatest passions. Since I was in elementary school, my family had
been working to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. So,
naturally, when I learned a family friend had opened an orphanage in
Africa and the children there could use a hand, I immediately knew I
had to do something to help.

Putting my idea into action wasn’t easy. Shipping to Africa is expensive,
and packing hundreds of shoeboxes is difficult, especially when we
tried to do it as often as possible. However, after some
experimenting, we were able to figure out a way to make everything
run smoothly. I knew the children needed basic necessities like soap
and toothbrushes throughout the year, but I couldn’t afford to send
packages every month. As a solution, I decided to ship out packages
once a year. The packages would contain enough toiletries, clothing,
and other necessities to last for much of the year, alongside toys
and other goodies that the children could enjoy. This made the
project much more manageable and has worked since 2015.

Because we only package boxes once a year now, the time spent throughout the
year is minimal, although the event is always on my mind; I’m
constantly on the lookout for gifts I know the children will love.
However, when it’s time to get everything together, things get
crazy. I typically invite over twenty friends to my house, set up
stations with different types of items, and we work for ten to
sixteen hours for two days to package all of the boxes. After that, I
spend the next five days writing personalized letters to each child,
while my sister (the artist of the family) draws for them. We then
sealed the boxes and drove to the mailing office my mother uses for
work to ship them to Zambia.

I have learned so much from my work for New Day Orphanage. It has
furthered my love of children and the world, alongside my
appreciation for everything I have, and has shown me how to connect
with people of different ages, ethnicities, races, and religions. And
when my mother’s friend shows me the pictures of the orphans’
smiles, I am filled with overwhelming joy and gratitude. I know I
have brought light to the lives of the children, and that makes me so
beyond happy.

This is a project I plan to continue throughout my life, and possibly even
expand. As I approach adulthood, I want to begin researching to find
other orphanages or camps with people and children in need, and reach
out to the staff there. Hopefully, I will soon be able to help
thousands of children across the world!

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".