By Lilia Velbovets
Charity work is usually attributed to the names of well-established and wealthy people, but BYU students like Kate Evans are starting early. She and other students do it not because they can but because they have a passion for changing the world.
Evans said she started working with a charity organization after receiving a class assignment to write a story about a new foundation called Project Educate.
The organization’s mission is to provide children in Maceio, Brazil with full-tuition scholarships to local private schools. The fund allows children the chance to receive secondary education as well as the hope of continued university education.
Evans was attracted to this organization because it gives children an opportunity to receive lifelong help, which in comparison to short-time needs provides the greatest satisfaction she said.
Evans, executive director, started up the foundation in 2004 and has since helped raise more than $3,000 for Brazilian children. Working in charity organizations has molded her decision to do something that counts professionally.
“Somewhere in the United States, no matter what the problem, some nonprofit organization is solving it,” said Evans, quoting management theorist Peter F. Drucker. “I possess a driving faith in this philosophy, and I am willing to dedicate my life to social change.”
BYU students Josh Budinger and Josh Brazer are helping orphanages in Mexico with the charity organization Kaiizen. The idea was born on a piece of scratch paper during a math class, and now the organization helps thousands.
Kaiizen sells customized T-shirts to benefit the children and organizes regular trips with more than 70 volunteers to the orphanages in Mexico. The volunteers contribute $75 each and carpool to Mexico, where they camp out on the beach and provide several days of intense service.
The term “Kaiizen” means constant improvement, and the plan is to bring improvements to the lives of children in need throughout the world.
One more example of student service is that of Michael Garfield. The idea of charity work came in focus when he and his roommates were sitting around talking in their living room about how college students could help the world. One of the friends had a previous experience with volunteering and gave the others an idea to help orphanages in Mexico. They contacted the orphanage for children with disabilities in Santa Marta and decided to unofficial sponsor them.
Garfield and his friends organized several events that helped raise a great amount of clothing and other supplies for children and then personally delivered them to the orphanage in March.
“Everything worked out great,” Garfield said. “We had a wonderful time at Rancho Santa Marta delivering the items and hanging out with the kids. We even had enough extra clothing to drop off at a second orphanage in Tijuana.”
BYU encourages students with its motto, “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.” With these and many other examples, students show it is possible to make a difference in the world, even before they have the material means to do so.