Lessons from 5 different community drives.

People around the globe are struggling to live, support their families, and to  stay healthy during this coronavirus pandemic. A group of kids at Empower And Help are working harder than ever to help support these people by conducting community drives. During this unprecedented time, it is harder than ever to help others, however these ambassadors have proven that you can have a safe and successful community drive if you do it right. These ambassadors have represented themselves and made such a difference in others lives. This article will discuss how the kids at Empower And Help are making a huge impact on both these families via community drives across the country.  

In order to facilitate a community drive, there is a lot of planning and hard work involved.  Many people have been overwhelmed with how much time and effort it takes to put this all together and create a successful community drive. However, these five ambassadors have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help others: Akshaj, Neha, and Anshi have collected food, Riya has collected money to be donated, and Vennela has collected Sanitary napkins for women.

Over the span of a month and a half , Akshaj collected 35 items to be donated to the Durham Rescue Mission which provides food to homeless shelters .  Riya conducted a Tulsi plant, holy basil, sale to raise funds for Yemen’s Child Relief Fund. This organization puts donations towards helping kids get food, water, medical aid, and education. Riya’s community drive ran for three weeks and raised $400, her total included money from the sale of the plants as well as monetary donations to support the cause. Anshi also conducted a food drive, and collected 61 items in only one week with the proceeds going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina this food bank feeds kids in crisis during the Covid-19 Pandemic . Neha and Vennela have completed their community drives.  Neha has had  a food drive. All the food is being donated to the  Long Beach Rescue Mission, this mission provides meals for the homeless.  in only 2 days she has collected 40 items!She finished with more than 500 items!  Vennela has collected sanitary napkins to go to women going through their cycle. This organization is called Casa Freehold , and at the start collected 3 packs of them in only 1 day. Vennela has completed her drive with a total of 7 packs of sanitary napkins. People have also donated straight to the non profit organization for this cause and hence we couldn’t get the exact number . These ambassadors all had the same inspiration of helping others, making an impact, and making the world a better place. All of these drives lasted from 1 to 3 weeks and were done during the summer break in 2020.In only a short amount of time, these ambassadors have collected many items and money even during a pandemic of tremendous proportions.

The Empower And Help ambassadors have been collecting money and items to be donated to different causes , but it doesn’t just come that easy. They needed to spread awareness of the cause, develop timelines, execute the plan, and that is exactly what they did. They made flyers, they talked to people about the cause, texted others, used social media, and came up with  many ideas on how to spread the word. Akshaj had a great idea by talking to his community manager to spread awareness of the cause. However, Riya made it clear that it is not as easy as it sounds. In an interview with her, she stated “After sharing her flyer with her close friends and family friends, she initially found it difficult to find others who would want to buy a Tulsi plant from her.”  In order to get more donations she shared her flyer in different social media groups, but only received a few orders. She  then decided to reshare the flyer with people who had already bought a plant, and  asked them to share the flyer with their friends. By coming up with this strategy she  was able to sell her remaining plants to friends of friends, as well as a few of her neighbors.They were able to get through the struggles and make this a successful drive. 

The ambassadors were able to follow safety precautions that were needed during a pandemic to conduct a successful drive. They were helping others while staying safe and although they faced a few obstacles, they made a difference. In the beginning they were overwhelmed, but it all paid off in the end because they felt accomplished.They also had support from the Empower And Help leadership team and other ambassadors to guide them overwhelm different obstacles that they faced.

 They might not know it, but they inspired others. For instance, Neha says she was inspired to start this drive by the other ambassadors that were doing the same. Vennela stated that she felt like she will help make an impact on women who really need it. Neha also says that by doing this drive she is getting great experience of leadership and is excited to help contribute towards feeding many people in the Long Beach Community.  All these ambassadors have the same goal, wanting  to make sure everyone is happy and healthy during these times. 

If you ever thought of doing your own fundraiser or community drive, I hope the experiences of these student ambassadors will give you ideas and encouragement. You can also join Empower And Help Ambassador Program to get further guidance and support in making your project a success. The Empower And Help leadership team worked with all the ambassadors to provide encouragement, ideas and necessary support needed for them to be successful in their individual drives. Go to www.empowerandhelp.com if you want to learn more about the Global Challenge and Ambassador program.The ambassadors have made a difference, they stayed safe, inspired others, had a fun time, and most importantly made the world a better place. If they can do it you can too!

[By Simran Singh, is Global Awareness Ambassador from New Jersey]

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