Rising Tide Students Reflect a Bright and Shining Light!

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When people ask us why we do the work we do. We talk about the children we meet every day.

Today we met teens from the Rising Tide School in Plymouth. They sorted through a ton of children’s clothes and enabled us to help dozens of  local children who don’t have warm clothing.

Rather than us talking, we wanted you to hear what student Anna Smith had to say:

By Anna Smith, Rising Tide Charter Public School.

“Coming to GiftsToGive as 17 year old volunteer from a local south shore High School, I was astounded, overwhelmed, as it surpassed my every expectation. I wasn’t quite sure what exactly to expect, as I had heard mention of the non-profit organization before, but had heard nothing of their story, or what they stood for.

Upon arrival, I and about twenty other students unloaded a school bus and stepped out to find ourselves in front of a massive brick warehouse in Acushnet, MA. Signs pointed us up a stairwell to the GiftsToGive “Warehouse, Thrift Store” and the soon to be “Children’s Kitchen”. We were greeted, or should I say warmly welcomed by a senior volunteer manager. Before setting out on our physical volunteer work, we were taken on a tour and given the “GiftsToGive” spiel. This was one thing I did not expect diving head first into this experience, but was perhaps the biggest take away. Being told the harsh reality of the world we live in today; over 24 million kids in America are  living in poverty, 90,000 alone in our area, it was devastating to learn, but a truth that must be shared. We were told that GiftsToGive was an organization founded upon shared values and the need for radical change in regards to child poverty (one of the many pressing challenges this world faces today). We were also told that we were part of the 12,000 kids who volunteer every year. Kids who can and will make a difference just by being there. This alone spoke volumes and motivated me and my peers to make the most of our time at GiftsToGive, as our work provided children in need with the materials necessary to contribute to better, more full lives. Myself and my group sorted and organized clothes to be packaged and sent out, accompanied by toys, school supplies, and other essential items that these kids would otherwise not have the chance to be given.

Carla Buckley, a peer of mine stated that she would most definitely return to GiftsToGive to lend a helping hand on more that one occasion. “I had a really good time, supporting a really great cause. It opened my eyes to how lucky I am and how people don’t have the same opportunities, or even the basic opportunities that I have”.  Many of our peers, myself and Carla included, expressed interest in becoming a returning volunteer as well as returning to take part in the up and coming “Children’s Kitchen” and “Hydroponic Garden” programs, where teens volunteer to mentor and teach elementary and middle school children about nutrition through interactive, engaging experiences.

GiftsToGive is an amazing non-profit, self-regulated organization that is always looking for volunteers like you and me to contribute to a pressing issue in this world that needs to be addressed: child poverty. I encourage each and everyone of you reading this to actively seek out volunteer opportunities, as it is vital for our world, more so now than ever that we come together. GiftsToGive is one of the many places to do this. GiftsToGive was full of surprises and presented to me, a community of people who are initiating change through their actions. At GiftsToGive, my eyes were opened to what I, what we can all do to change our world for the better.

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