I have spent about 9 or so years of my life at academic institutions that placed a lot of emphasis on helping the less privileged in society.
In high school, every student organisation held fundraisers every term to sponsor their pet charities. We also had a major fundraising every Lent (I went to a Catholic school) where students gave up their favorite snacks and donated their pocket money to the appeal. The money raised would buy school uniforms, books and pay school fees for children in the surrounding community.
In university, giving back to the community around the university was an even bigger event. Every year on the Vice Chancellor's birthday, students would join faculty and support staff, and would go some intense physical labor at the primary schools (elementary schools for my US readers). We also did 90 hours of community service in our junior or senior year.
My community service was done at Victorious Joy Children's Home in Kahawa West, Nairobi. I did it during the spring break, and it was intense. The jobs volunteers were expected to do where anything and everything the home wanted you to do for them. So I hand washed laundry, cleaned the kids rooms, helped cook lunch, play with the kids as well as teach at the school that was affiliated to the home. Those were busy but fun, and rewarding weeks. I improved my sheng (the urban Kiswahili), learnt how to teach and also how to cook some typically Kenyan dishes (chapati and githeri).
Even after university, volunteering didn't stop. I even climbed Mt Kilimanjaro (and endured horrible altitude sickness for a school). So when I moved back to Zim, I have been looking for a non-profit to volunteer with. I have found one, which brings me to my appeal...
I am currently fundraising for Kidzcan Zimbabwe. Well, not really fundraising but gathering together certain items. Kidzcan is an organisation that helps children diagnosed with cancer and their families with getting treatment, education within the hospital as well as giving them material things that their families can't afford. I am trying to create what are called ''admission packs''. These are simply little packs that can be given to kids as they get admitted into hospital. Often, their families don't expect that their child will be admitted, so they will not have them on hand. These include bathing soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, vaseline/lotion and a small toy or some candy. If anyone would like to donate these please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will definitely be in touch. I have currently managed to create 12 packs using my own cash, and some items donated by my mum too. My target is to create 30 of these packs and hand them over to Kidzcan on the 11th of April.
Your help will be appreciated. Even spreading the word to your friends and family will be a great help.