I’m happy to report that the neatest teenager in America lives just down the street from us. Rebecca Kite is 16 years old and she’s bright, cheerful, funny, capable, athletic, and very, very thoughtful. I’m sure she’ll be president of the United States one day. But first she wants to go to Haiti on a mission to help build a school. She’s been working hard in the neighborhood to raise the funds. I told her that, if she could write a good essay, I’d publish it here to promote her cause. She wrote a very good essay. Here it is.
I have a question for you. Do you remember the first time you understood a tragedy? The feeling of your eye brows forcing their way together into a heavy squint, your stomach queasy, and cold goose bumps sprouting up and down your arms?
I can remember the exact day I felt this sensation for the first time. On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake annihilated Haiti, leaving nearly 220,000 people dead and 300,000 injured. With eyes peering through unfallen tears, I gazed at the television squinting heavily. The screams of pain and sorrow from the wounded and grieving filled the empty air of our basement.
Until this moment, I have never experienced what it is like to be an international citizen. I felt my ears get hot and my cheeks turn red, mourning for people that I have never met, yearning desperately to heal my fellow man but possessing no power to do so. That day, I learned the nature of sympathy and empathy as I cried myself to sleep.
A feeling like this does not just go away after the T.V. turns off. My sadness transformed into determination. I helped organize a school wide bake sale with my 5th grade class that raised $1000+ for the Red Cross in Haiti. I wrote an article about that bake sale that was published on 9news. I donated $50 of my money to the Hope for Haiti Fundraiser. Eventually, there was not much more a ten-year-old could do; my power was limited. I knew I was helping, but I still felt that I had more to give.
When I arrived at Colorado Academy, I found many opportunities to become an international citizen. I could spend my summer in Spain or host a Turkish exchange student.
While these are wonderful opportunities, none of them stood out quite like the “Hope for Haiti Trip in the Spring.” This project aims to build a school for the kids of Nordette, Haiti. According to the brochure, “the new complex will provide cleaner water, better sanitation, and a small medical clinic.”
The project is organized by The Road to Hope, a non-profit started by Rich and Lisa Harris who are parents of students at my school. The organization is dedicated to helping the children of Haiti have a brighter future. The ten-year-old inside me remembers that I yearn to help the people of Haiti in any way I can. Last month, I explained to the application committee how I wish to meet the people, and hear the stories of those I watched cry on television. How I wish to bring support and love to the people who suffered so intensely. How I wish to further strengthen the side of me that is an international citizen, neighbor, and friend.
I have been working for the past month to raise money for this trip. I sent flyers to my neighbors offering my services as a babysitter, dog sitter, house cleaner, and snow-shoveler. I’ve been working Fridays and Saturdays for families around town. I’m working hard and I need to raise the money before March 10th. The trip itself is March 11th to 17th.
I am asking for your consideration in helping me further develop as a citizen of the world. By donating money, you will certainly help me. More importantly, you will help children in Haiti. I would be eternally grateful if you would support my cause. If you’d like to do so, you can go to my secure Go Fund Me, by clicking here.
Thank you so much for reading this. Your support means so much to me.