How Your Kid Can Fight Against Poverty
Ana Dodson & Peruvian Hearts: How Your Kid Can Fight Against Poverty
Sometimes, all it takes to strike a chord with a child is to simply hear about what other children their age are accomplishing. When it comes to these inspirational kids making a difference in our world, there are no shortages of examples to share with your own children. One of these persons is Ana Dodson who founded the charity, Peruvian Hearts.
Adopted from Cusco, Peru when she was just 3 years old, Ana moved to Colorado with her adoptive parents. Filled with curiosity about her background and Peru, her parents finally allowed her to make the trip to Peru in 2003 when she was 11 years old. During her visit, Ana was intensely moved by the extreme poverty of some of the children of Peru, particularly those in the orphanages. Realizing that their fate could have just as easily been hers, Ana immediately made the choice to do all that she could to help them.
Ana initially began collecting teddy bears and books to give to the children of Peru, which later progressed to collecting school supplies, and finally grassroots fundraising leading to the birth of Peruvian Hearts in 2003. Today the mission of Peruvian Hearts is to transform the lives of Peruvian orphans and children living in poverty through improved education, proper nutrition and health care, and to raise awareness amongst youth about poverty and the overall importance of service.
How can your child take Ana’s exemplary bravery to fight against poverty in their own communities? Here are some options to consider:
- Hunger is one of the largest issues plaguing families in poverty. Why not help your child organize a mini-project by collecting food cans amongst their closest group of friends, or through a neighborhood drive, or even a larger one within their school? Feeding America simplifies the most important step of collecting cans by providing a food bank locator.
- There is nothing better a child can do than give their time. Whether it’s helping out at a local soup kitchen or donating clothing and shoes, there are endless ways in which your child can volunteer their time to fight poverty. Volunteer Match – the page through which the majority of Salvation Army units across the U.S. list their options – helps you easily locate the plethora of options within your own community.
- Simply being aware of poverty and its affects is another issue of extreme importance. For example, did you know that in 2010, 16.4 million, or 22%, of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. lived in poverty? Your kid inform others by simply hanging posters in local areas (such as schools and shops, with permission of course) outlining the statistics and facts about poverty. Reading just one surprising fact in passing can inspire great change!
Ana Dodson and Peruvian Hearts is just one of many examples of inspirational kids who started off with the will to help others eventually sparking big change in the lives of many. Why not your kid?