Making a Difference

Kathleen Shaffer, Staff Writer

Twenty-one thousand children die every day from a preventable cause. In many third world countries children die under the age of 5, simply because they do not have sufficient food and water or are forced to live in unsanitary conditions. To protect these children, UNICEF fights these unnecessary deaths and improves conditions all over the world.

At the beginning of the school year senior Michael Lee started a UNICEF chapter at school after learning about the organization from his older sister. Lee established the club in order to inform people about global conditions and inspire them to make a difference.

“A good first step is to gain knowledge about what UNICEF is,” Lee said. “Reading information on their website or learning about it from one of our club members are just some of the ways to be informed.”

Vice president senior Tony Qian believes that informing others is a key role the members play.

“I want to spread awareness about what UNICEF can bring to third world countries,” Qian said. “If people hear about the conditions and what they can do to help, I think they will be able to spread their knowledge and create a larger impact. There’s more to this club than just giving a donation. It’s about having an effect.”

Members can go to general meetings and also participate in one of three committees: education advocacy, volunteering and fundraising.

Committees will think of ways for the members to give back locally through volunteer opportunities. Although UNICEF is associated with helping children in other countries, the officers of the club want to find places for the members to volunteer.

“We can donate to the campaigns which will have a global impact, but also if we volunteer there will be a direct impact on the area,” Lee said.

As a way to continue the club for future students, junior Ellen Frawley was elected, as well as a few other junior officers, to keep the club going.

“I’ve been telling my friends about being in the club, and I’m really hopeful to get other students involved,” Frawley said. “I want to have events that will raise awareness and money that can be donated to help children in need.”

Lee said that it is important to him that a solid foundation is laid for the club in years to come.

“Leaving a positive legacy that ends up inspiring people to go out of their comfort zone to make a difference is something I am really hoping for,” Lee said.

The senior club members are confident that the club will continue to grow and inspire others.

“When students realize the real changes they can make and decide to join together to make a difference, there will be no stopping them,” Qian said.