I am at the in the final weeks of my high school journey and getting ready to make the all important decision as to where to continue on to college. Which means finishing and presenting my academy project on "Music & Mental Health." Completing my final assignments. Last minute tours and questions for colleges and finishing scholarship applications. One application asked me for the impact that a teacher had on my while in middle school. Ironically, it was related to this effort, Hope2Believe and while I haven't been good with sustaining my activity on this website and blog, I have been able to sustain the effort. Since starting this as a project over four years ago, I've been able to raise money for, put together, and distribute over 180 "Believer Kits." We always have one in our cars and even bring them on trips because you never know when you are going to find someone who needs some essentials and a bit of hope. I thought I would share the essay that I wrote for my scholarship application, and we are working on at least one more fundraiser before I head off to college!
"During my time at Landstown Middle School, I had the privilege of having Mr. Arbuckle as my Civics teacher. In his class, we were assigned a project on sustainability, and it was here that I learned to think beyond the traditional expectation of the lesson assigned.
Many of my classmates focused on what one would expect, environmental issues, recycling, sustaining resources, however I wanted to sustain “hope” and make a difference in the lives of our homeless population. With Mr. Arbuckle's encouragement and support, I developed the idea of a "Believer Kit," a care package that would provide more than just basic needs, but also hope. The kit included non-perishable food, water, socks, a first aid kit, hygiene supplies, a puzzle book to add a bit of a diversion, a gift card to that the person could make a choice as to what to eat, and a handwritten note that told the recipient someone cared and encouraged them to be hopeful.
To fund the project, I organized fundraisers including a lemonade stand and showed friends and others what I put into each kit, but I also encouraged them to put their own creativity into it. The result was my first twenty Believer Kits and I have sustained that effort. To date, we have built and distributed over 180 Believer Kits distributed, and I am proud to have made a positive impact on the world around me.
Through this project, I learned that small actions can make a big difference, and that with a little bit of creativity and determination, we can sustain efforts that make a positive impact. If it wasn't for Mr. Arbuckle, who encouraged me to think beyond the traditional direction of the assignment, I may not have pursued this path.
As I head off to college, I know that my parents will continue the tradition of passing out Believer Kits when they come across someone in need, and I encourage others to do the same. We all have the power to make a difference in our communities, and I hope my story inspires others to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in the world."