UNICEF, other projects, can change kids' lives

Sunday , October 15, 2017 - 12:00 AM

By HALEY BESS
TX. Correspondent

What if teenagers had the power to change the world? That would be pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Now, what if I told you we do? 

Pretty amazing, indeed.

Sometimes we think that in order to make a significant difference, huge effort is required. After all, we don’t have superpowers, infinite knowledge, or boundless resources at our disposal.

But we do have one thing: service.

I used to think of service as one of two things, either a project that had to be way too big for one person to accomplish alone, or a task that was too small to even make a difference. There was no way I felt that my personal actions could be worth anything.

But UNICEF changed that for me.

UNICEF, otherwise known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, is an international organization dedicated to saving children’s lives. The organization works in more than 190 countries to provide safe shelter, education, nutrition and relief from disasters.

As you can see, this program would fall directly into my first category — a project much bigger than one person.

However, I have come to realize that the help one person can give is what makes the greatest difference. If everyone understood this, think of the possibilities. What if even we, as teenagers, understood this?

We would have the power to change the world.

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So what does UNICEF have to do with all of this? Well, UNICEF understands the potential that teenagers have and utilizes their help in humanitarian efforts. I got involved in UNICEF last year when it became a new club at my school.

I became involved in an international organization because of a high school club. That’s pretty amazing to me.

What UNICEF does is provide willing high schools with the resources and credibility needed to bring awareness and money to the organization. Then, high schools can put these to use and help make a difference.

Last year, I got to sell suckers during lunch for a dollar each. Every dollar equaled one vaccine for a child in a Third World country. In other words, my personal actions, which helped a bigger organization, saved lives.

I felt like a superhero.

This year, the school club is excited to be part of UNICEF again. I am excited to be part of it again, too!

For the second year now, the Morgan High School UNICEF Club will be trick-or-treating for UNICEF. This is yet another opportunity for teenagers to be directly involved in making a difference.

On Halloween, UNICEF club members trick-or-treat for monetary donations. Last year, the club earned $1,300. This year, the group hopes to be able to give even more to countries and people in need.

So how does this apply to us as teenagers?

Maybe we can’t all be involved in UNICEF. After all, Morgan High is currently the only high school in Utah with this program.

However, there are plenty of opportunities around us. Whether you join other service projects in your community, look for ways to be part of international programs like UNICEF, or, who knows, start a service-oriented club at your own school to get lots of people involved, the possibilities are endless.

I have only one question: How will you help change the world today?

Haley Bess is a senior at Morgan High School. She enjoys writing, singing and acting. Contact her at haleyebess@gmail.com.

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