It is always impressive when a person decides to donate their time and effort to help someone else. It’s even more impressive when that person is under the age of 11. Such is the case for Amanda Herman (9) of Michigan, Lia Pachino ( 8) of North Carolina,  Dori Chapman (6) of Georgia, and Rosie Simpson (11) of the Virgin Islands. Although these girls have never met, or even heard of one another, each of them decided to raise funds for the children of Safe Passage this holiday season. Together, they donated over $650 to our program.

Individuals all over the world contribute to the success of Safe Passage. Indeed, it is through grass roots efforts and the generosity of donors that Safe Passage is alive and thriving today. As the person who handles a large percentage of the donations made to Safe Passage, I can say that over the past 5 years, there’s been an increase in the financial participation of young supporters. I’m not sure if this is the result of parents encouraging their kids to think of others in need, or if more and more children are inspired to take action because of things they hear about in school. Whatever the reason, it’s a fantastic trend! Children are energetic, creative, and often have more free time than adults.

The range of fundraising ideas is huge. Last year, children in Maine held a bake sale, in New York organized a Dance-a-thon and there was even a private song and dance performance to raise money for us in Seattle. Surprisingly enough, the most common idea is children asking for gifts to Safe Passage in lieu of birthday gifts for themselves.

Amanda Herman turned her love of sewing into a money maker by creating and selling tutus for small dogs and young girls. She also made pouches filled with rice that could be heated as hand warmers, or chilled for sore muscles. She decided not to put a price on the items she sold, and instead asked for buyers to make a donation.  Dori Chapman collected mistletoe from the woods and sold it at a nearby market in time for Christmas. Lia Pachino, and her friends, held a hot chocolate fundraiser in their neighborhood. And Rosie asked her parents to make a donation to Safe Passage instead of buying gifts for her for Christmas. The selflessness exhibited here is inspiring, and worth applauding!!

I’ve been so impressed with the outpouring of support from the youngest generation that I felt compelled to highlight their efforts. Thank you to ALL of you who have contributed to the success of Safe Passage, and I hope you know that your support is greatly appreciated.

If you know of a youngster making a difference for Safe Passage, please let us know. We’d love to share their story, and just maybe inspire others to follow suit.

-Karen Bolmer

US Office staff