Philanthropy: A Small Group of...
I’m no fan of beauty pageants. But recently I came across the Quality of Life finalists’ videos for the 2012 Miss America contestants (duh, on YouTube! =P), and I was blown away by the clarity of their thoughts. How each one chose a cause close to their hearts, and was using the Miss America platform to take their causes further. [Check out the Miss America website for more info on the awards: http://www.missamerica.org/scholarships/quality.aspx . Also do YouTube this specific award to hear out the contestants themselves!].
The finalists made me think: These are all young women between the age of 17-24 (that’s the age restriction), and they are already doing so much with their lives in terms of giving back to society! Beauty pageants I may be no fan of, but I can respect and do recognize these women for the dedication in their chosen fields [The platforms are varied - from bullying to sexual assaults, Alzheimer’s to eating disorders, they cover a myriad of issues].
On the other hand, I’m currently working with a group of young teenagers for a charity project. These youngsters are quite inspiring: They’ll starve themselves for 30 hours; volunteer at a food donation center (while starving!); and engage in fundraisers, all in effort to create awareness and contributions to one day “banish hunger to the history books” [http://www.30hourfamine.org/en/about]. The students were given a choice to skip the event, but they chose otherwise; and that makes me so proud of them! =)
Lastly, our fellow blogger Sufi Nawaz introduced me to HUP (Healthcare for Underprivileged Program), originally an initiative of a handful of MicroSoft employees. [Sufi has promised to blog about it so I’ll spare you all the details!]. This non-profit’s actual charity work is done in Bangladesh, but someone like Sufi, residing in the States, still contributes by volunteering to develop its website, as an example.
~So all these wonderful stories around me make me think: There is so much to do, and we all can do something, each in our own ways, no? What a wonderful world to live in! =)