‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ — Mahatma Gandhi. Many of us love the “idea” of being the change that will improve the world. But.. are we taking any actions to truly “be the change”?
Think about the last part of the quote “in the world”… It means to be the change you wish to see not sitting behind your computer, not drinking beer with friends at home, not playing it safe where no one can see you, but out in the world!
How to be the change in the world?
The other day I was browsing FundRazr for some inspirational causes. I came across a crowdfunding campaign of a 20-years old girl, Shaelyn Small, who has decided to travel across Asia to make a difference in this world and have a big impact on people’s lives there. Her mission is to work with orphans in Thailand, mentally and physically challenged children in Bali, support Agent Orange Victims and Vietnam War veterans, help disadvantaged women lead their lives with dignity in a male-dominated society in Nepal.
We asked Shaelyn to shed a light on her dream and how it becomes her mission:
“My name is Shaelyn Small and I am a 20 years old from Philadelphia, Pa, USA. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Bringing a smile to everyone I possibly can is the best feeling to me. There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a true smile. Through my life I saw a lot of struggle with different people and always did my best to make their situation or even just their day a little better. I consider myself the luckiest girl to live such a wonderful, loved life and to not spread that love would be selfish. My mom always helped me fulfill anything I dreamed up. She let me travel the world at a young age and help as many people as I could. She believed in me and allowed me to believe in myself. This made my dream of changing lives more than real.”
Three months ago Shaelyn started fulfilling her plan. Her first stop was at the Hill Tribe Orphans, Asia’s Hope Foundation that is rescuing orphans and taking care of them in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She found the orphanage in need and booked her ticket. At that point she realized that she couldn’t support these children, buy them supplies on her own. She created a FundRazr campaign for the orphanage.
The orphanage has 61 children and barely anyone can speak English. Shaelyn taught them English, kids taught her Thai in return. Despite being lost in translation she not only got along with these orphans, participated in their lives, but managed to do so many important things for them with $1,500 raised so far.
Shaelyn bought children kitchen & bathroom supplies, sports inventory.
“I went to the market with the house mother yesterday and bought buckets for all the bathrooms. (Because in Asia most toilets do not flush) We bought brooms because all of theirs broke. Also, paper because holiday ended yesterday and the kids are back to school on Monday! We bought a few badminton sets and a few other fun little things. It does not take much to make these beautiful people and children smile, so, THANK YOU!” – Shaelyn Small.
She celebrated Halloween with these kids.
They got the opportunity to carve a pumpkin and put a candy inside – “We bought them each their own pumpkin to carve and then CANDY (of course)! They were in absolute HEAVEN!!! It worked out perfectly because the older boys had a carving assignment for school, so they got to use their pumpkins for homework! How great, right? My hands are still stained from carving about 40 green pumpkins but it was TOTALLY worth it!”
She organized birthday parties for each child and celebrated Christmas with them.
“I have decided to stay longer with these kids to try to make the biggest impact I possibly can in their lives. I throw them individual birthday parties because I believe every child deserves that feeling of blowing out their own candles to make a magical wish on their OWN day. I am attempting on making each child personalized Christmas presents because I will be spending Christmas day with them having sports competitions and festivities …” – Shaelyn shared her story update with friends.
Shaelyn took care about all school supplies, bought clothes and shoes, gave money for repairs in the house and more.
She has definitely done a lot for these orphans to light up their smiles, but still, she keeps doing good for the Hill Tribe Orphans even after she left to another location according to the plan.
Shaelyn has created a new FundRazr campaign to raise $4,500 for three orphans, Jewa, Big Boy and Wera, who have severe eyes issues. All of them need glasses, tests and surgeries that will help them see and enjoy their childhood just like other kids. You can read their touching story on Shaelyn’s campaign page and support them!
It’s not an easy task to find out what the best way to help people is. This brave girl wants to find exactly how she will do that along her way around Asia.
Shaelyn is a great example of how to be the change in the world for all of us!
Please support her fundraising efforts, share her campaign and donate!
“The children and adults I work with teach me life lessons every minute of the day. They are continuously changing my life. Whether it is supplying a little orphan boy with a new shirt or holding him for hours to show him he is loved… Whether it is helping a 15 year old girl with her homework or helping her buy her first bra. Something as little as a birthday cake with candles to something as big as surgery to make those birthday wishes come true. If I can do it.. I will, because those beautiful smiles make every day away from home worth it.” – inspiring words by Shaelyn Small.
If you want to change the world, take actions. Help people. Treat others with love. Anything worth doing requires an effort. Do good. Give generously. Work hard. Get inspired by great people and great causes.
You can make a difference in someone’s life. Start a FundRazr campaign, ask your family and close friends for first donations.
By supporting and contributing value to people’s lives you not only make their lives better, but you inspire them to help others. That’s how you, together, create a big positive change that grows and becomes stronger.