1. What is your school and grade? How long have you been involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference? I am a junior at Vista Del Lago High School. I have been involved with Hands4Hope for 5 years now!
2. Why did you join Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference & how did you hear about it? I attended a summer leadership camp a couple years ago, which partnered with Hands4Hope. My peers and I hosted a toiletries drive, working with Hands4Hope mentors to plan for a homeless outreach. At the event, we gave out toiletries and sandwiches to people in need in Sacramento. I was surprised at how gratifying and enjoyable community service could be, so I made the decision to join Hands4Hope later that summer!
3. How has Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life? Hands4Hope has definitely helped me learn communication and marketing skills from being on different project committees. On top of that, Hands4Hope has exposed me to different situations outside of my comfort zone, so I have been able to develop a different perspective on my everyday life, and become more grounded. Every outreach and project is different, so every experience is meaningful in its own way. Especially getting the chance to have a deep conversation with the people I serve has been so important, getting to know more than just the surface level details, and more about one's life experiences.
4. What has your experience been like since joining? My experience with Hands4Hope has been fantastic! I have met many new friends, whom I have been able to bond with through outreach events and serving the community. Hands4Hope has given me an outlet to channel my creativity and organization skills. I have gotten to know more of who I am through forming different experiences with Hands4Hope. I developed a deep sense of gratitude for everything I have, after noticing how many people struggle for resources that we often take for granted, like fresh food and clothes.
5. Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
This year, I decided to try a new Hands4Hope project- the Winter Boutique. In this project, the committee sets up a store for customers to gather winter items they are in need of, such as blankets, coats, socks, and more. My role was being the youth chair and leading the committee throughout the process. It was amazing to put together an event which positively impacted 151 families amidst COVID-19. Watching the project come together on the event day(s) meant a lot to me, as all the hard work produced such a great result in the end. It has been great to see a silver lining to a year that proved itself to be difficult on so many fronts.