I have always loved non-profits. I grew up in a household where my parents emphasized the importance of giving back and serving others. Since I was young, I knew that I wanted to work with non-profits in one way or another.

One of my first experiences, and by far one of the most rewarding experiences with a non-profit, was in sixth grade when my friends and I decided to host a carnival that was a “kids helping kids” event. We decided that the beneficiary of the carnival proceeds would be the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Our parents told us from the beginning that if we were planning on doing something that was as big as our imaginations were thinking, it was all on us and they were not going to help. That is what we did. In the six years that my friends and I were in charge of the Backyard Carnival for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I found my love for fundraising and for non-profits. I was one of the main people not only in charge of the overall carnival, but I was also one of the main people in charge of obtaining under-writings and donations for the raffles, auctions and the carnival costs in general.

The most rewarding thing about the Backyard Carnival that ever happened was when the Make-A-Wish Foundation called us the week of the carnival and asked if it would be okay if they brought out one of the children that we had granted a wish to the year before. She wanted to meet us and see what we had done to raise the money to give her the wish that she had asked for. Meeting her and being able to spend the day with her was truly one of the most amazing things I have been blessed with. The joy that she had still even when she was going through something that no person, especially a child, should ever have to go through, was amazing.

I know that volunteering, with any group is something that will truly change your life. We are called to live the life of a servant. We are put here to serve others with a joyful heart. Philippians 2:14-18

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