School: Union Catholic High School
Who inspires me: My parents
My independent service project as an ambassador to the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation was more than just selecting a hospital and collecting something they were in need of. I, personally, was inspired by HLF’s work with the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian. Art has always been a big part of my life and when I found out that HLF funds an art therapy specialist at NYP, I knew that I wanted to give back to the community through art. Ultimately, I chose to collect art supplies and children’s pajamas (a requested donation) to give to the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ, close to my home.
Once I had a project in mind, I asked around to see if anyone would be willing to help me collect items. My art teacher at school, Mrs. Schroppe, allowed me to put a donation box in her classroom. I spoke to her different classes, explained what I was collecting and why, and the response was great! Many students and faculty members donated items. I also put a collection box outside my house for neighbors to contribute to.
When I brought the items to the hospital, it felt great to give back to my community. I had passed this hospital a million times, but never gone inside. As I was carrying a box of donations in, a family was walking out. The mother said to me, “Sweetheart, you have no idea how much this means to the kids.” I knew that I had done something that would have a positive impact. I know that if I can make even one kid happy while they are sick, I have done my job.