Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet 17 year old microgrant recipient Angelina from the Oakland, CA area. She used her award to purchase items to include in care packages that would go to needy members of her community. Angelina worked with 30 youths of the outreach program she directs and also partnered with UC Berkeley, and CalHabitat. She and her event partners held a food & clothing drive to collect other needed items. Volunteers helped to create 150-200 care packages of food, clothing and toiletries. Care packages included; a drink & a meal, a bag of chips, a granola bar, fruit cups, hygiene kits, and words of encouragement.
- How many hours did you and other participants spend on the project?
The weeklong planning process was about 7 hours and the actual packaging of the meals was about 2 hours. High school students from La Fuerza Club at Aspire Richmond Cal Prep participated in the food drive.
- What did you learn from this experience?
I learned that age does not determine one’s potential to succeed. The youth from my high school were able to acknowledge the service work they did and how that positively impacts a community. I also learned that to be a leader, you must know how to collaborate and make sure that everyone is responsible for a certain aspect of a project. Overall, it is important to focus on the quality of the project, not the quantity.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future?
Youth Voice Activate members will continue to collaborate with La Fuerza Club youth since it is very important that we unite as a community to eradicate social disparities. By applying for grants like Karma for Cara, students will be able to acquire the resources in order to be able to purchase food items for future food drives. Since our school is underserved, students don’t get the opportunity to do big projects like this so we are hoping that more students feel the urgency to network and apply for as many grants as possible.
- Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.
As President of La Fuerza Club, I was responsible for giving every student a role in this project. Two of our secretaries were assigned to create a budget list using the grant money we have in order to come up with a list of food supplies needed to be purchased. Meanwhile, our outreach committee was responsible for purchasing the materials as well as post flyers around our school campus to recruit more volunteers. After school on May 3rd, our Spanish teacher helped us fill 120 paper bags with nonperishable items. Then, an organization called Richmond Street Angels came to our school site in order to pick up the bags and distribute them to homeless people across Contra Costa County!
- How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?
This grant was a huge blessing and it gave students the opportunity to organize a food drive that we could otherwise not afford. Coming from a low-income school, funding is limited so students like me have to really work hard to search for grants that could help us engage in public service. Thanks to Karma for Cara, students from La Fuerza Club feel super motivated to apply again next year!