Haveyou ever wanted to help someone but they were just too far away? Well Noel R.did something about it. With a few other people, Noel helped organize a fundraiser for the refugees in Bosnia.
Tell me about a time when youhelped others.
In 1997, my sister's Girl Scout troop, headed by my mom andme, organized a drive for the Bosnian refugees. We spent 48 hours going door todoor collecting food, clothing and money. We also held a dinner and were able toraise over $5,000. That November the refugees flew into Chicago. The flight waspaid for by the troop. From the money we'd raised, they were supplied with homesin our area, clothing and food. We also paid for the first two months oftheir living expenses.
How many people were you doing this for,and why did you get involved?
There were 16 refugees. I got involvedbecause I felt bad for them.
What were some of the obstacles youfaced?
The start of the drive was slow and unproductive so we had to domore work to get additional people to give.
Were there times youwere scared, nervous or uncomfortable?
Yes, mostly nervous because when wewere counting the money, I didn't know if we were going to have enough to supplythem with anything good. My sister and I ended up going out and getting moredonations.
Were people more generous the second time?
Yes,we got many more donations the second time.
Would you do it again?
I would definitely do it again, there are many more in need of food,shelter and clothing than those we helped, so I would be glad to help providethem with that.
What was your favorite moment of thatexperience?
When I saw the reactions on their faces when they saw what weprovided for them.
Why is helping others important toyou?
It makes me feel great when I know I have done something good forsomeone else.
What's your advice to people who would like to makea difference in their community?
Do what you want to and don't let anyonechange your opinion.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.