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LiLu: Handbags for Hope

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Imagine, if you will, a shorter than average 13 year old freshman, walking down the halls of her high school, backpack heavily weighing down on her back and clutching her multicolored handbag. That shorter than average freshman was me. Three years ago, I started my first year of high school. As expected, I was nervous, anxious, and felt misplaced despite the fact that almost all of my friends had decided to go to the same school as I did. Because I was in an honors program, I was required to do at least 20 hours of community service for that year. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but it was to me. Being the crazy, focused, and nerdy child that I was, and am, I felt that 20 hours of community service was a waste of perfectly good studying time. Insensitive as that may sound, it was how I felt, but still my best friend somehow persuaded me to join her at a meeting for a club called "LiLu".
What is LiLu you may ask? Well, it is a club that sews and designs handbags and sells them at an annual auction in order to benefit a foundation that gives shelter to local homeless teenagers in our area. At first, I felt bored and uninterested, and yet week after week I would continue to go to the meetings, and even the weekly Sunday meetings at the current president's house. I found myself enjoying the time spent sewing and talking with the club members more as the months passed. After finishing two handbags, pricking my finger with needles multiple times, and managing to eat much of the club president’s snacks, the time had come for the fashion show. It may seem like things like this only happen in movies, but it doesn’t. It didn’t occur to me until that moment, the moment right before the fashion show, that I was actually helping another person; and it felt good doing it. Not to say that I didn’t help people prior to LiLu, but I was being hands on, really making a difference. I did not realize that what I was doing was not only fun but also it was doing something for another, and that in itself really meant something to me. From LiLu, I learned that helping another person is not a tedious and annoying chore, but really an enjoyable way to reach out to the community and the people around you. It taught me hard work, determination, and to always persevere. Now, three years later, I am vice president of LiLu, working to make this year an even better one, and loving every minute of it. It just goes to show, everyone can make a difference.





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