I am a 17-year-old honor student and soccer player entering my senior year of high school. One day, I thought about what makes me and my life different from anyone else. In reality, it's not, but my life experiences have shaped the person I am and the person I strive to be. I believe in the act of giving and I have a big heart, especially for kids.
I have challenged myself to do more, be bold, and to turn my life experience into more than just a story, but a mission to support and show compassion for others in their time of need.
From a young age I was always interested in volunteer activities. Some of my favorite work has been putting together school supply boxes and handing them out to students and teachers. This was a fun way for me to learn how to be organized and enjoy hard work, especially when it would benefit others.
Through organizations and activities such as Girl Scouts, National Charity League, Student Council and National Honors Society, I have had the opportunity to personally get involved in helping my community.
In September, 2017, while living in the US Virgin Islands, I endured Category 5 Hurricane Maria in its full capacity. I was 11 years old at the time, facing the devastation of the hurricane and, for the first time, felt genuine loss and isolation. Not only did we lose essentials that we took for granted, like electricity, clean water, and security, but also felt the emotional stress of uncertainty that comes with such an event.
My family was forced to move for a month-long period, which was extremely difficult and very confusing. I often felt alone and scared of the uncertain future. I know many families who were forced to evacuate to places they've never been, often leaving everything that is familiar and comforting behind.
After many years of trying to outrun the effects that Hurricane Maria had on my community, I decided that I wanted to help impacted children as they endure what I did, facing the uncertainty of normal life ever returning.
Cozy Crates came to life for this sole purpose of specifically sending comfort items to children to give them a sense of ownership after losing so much. Items such as blankets, toys and activity books are meant to help the children transition to a new life easier and with more hope.