Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Good Finds

Name: Whitney Smith
From: Olin, Iowa
Grade: Junior
School: Anamosa High School
Votes: 0

Whitney
Smith

As
a child I always wanted the newest things and the tops brands. I
transferred schools my sixth grade year and all the kids that I
became friends with wore Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, etc. All of the
sudden I wanted to fit and start wearing the same because as a new
kid I didn’t want to stand out even more. I then caught myself
begging my mom to get me new Nike shorts and new Under Armour
sweatshirts. As I am older now I realize how silly that was, but also
I thought about the kids today that can’t afford these clothes and
feel different because of it.

In
this past year I started to go through all of my clothes and realized
that I didn’t even wear half of them. I had piles of pants, shirts,
shorts, shoes, etc of all clothes I didn’t wear anymore. I let the
piles sit for a couple days thinking on what to do with them because
I didn’t want to throw them away. One of the biggest challenges
with getting rid of my stuff was actually not having it anymore and
saying “oh I’ll wear it someday.” It was the parting with the
items that was the hardest pill to swallow. I then remembered that
their are kids out there with no clothes, very little, or the ones
who can’t afford the nice brands that they think makes them fit in.
I then started to donate my clothes to homeless shelters, Goodwill,
and other second hand stores that accepted them. I told myself for
now on that I would donate all the clothes I get rid of to the
homeless who can’t afford them but still deserve to walk around
with clothing on their back. I always thought that when the grabbed
my clothes from the boxs they would know someone cares and keeps them
in their thoughts. I also donate to second hand stores such as
Goodwill for the kids who still want name brand things to fit in. I
remember feeling as if I wasn’t good enough to be in the “popular
crowd” in middle school because my clothes didn’t have a brand
symbol. Middle school is already hard enough and if I can make a kid
smile just by grabbing something off a hanger and smiling because
they found a good find then I will donate every piece of clothing
that gets thrown out.

After
months of doing this process I now encourage my friends to donate
their clothes to those in need also. Looking back now I realize how
silly I was to think that those things made or break my social
reputation, but also I understand why kids now would feel that way.
Middle schoolers can be way mean and especially harsh so I if
donating a shirt that has a nike swoosh on it will keep negative
enegery away from kids today then I will donate in a heartbeat. I
plan on continuing to donate to the stores and homeless. I aslo am
going to start to donating other things such as canned food, house
objects, and what ever else I can find that I don’t use but others
in need could. As I get older and go to college in a city I plan to
volunteer with children and also at homeless shelters where I serve
people in a bigger way. I will always encourage others to do the same
or even join me as I do it. It’s a rewarding thing to do and
positive thinking knowing that maybe I impacted someone’s life for
the good. I truly do think that looking back in ten-twenty years that
all the volunteering we as a race has done will matter and especially
matter the most to the people it impacted. It may seem like a small
impact now, but with everyone coming together doing it then the
impact seems so much greater.

Thank
you for this oppurtunity to share my story of helping others.


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