Sydney (17) & volunteers built a children’s center for fifth through eighth grade children at Life Haven, a shelter for pregnant women and single mothers. Prior to construction, older & younger children co-existed in a space that was often loud and full of toys and commotion. After renovating a former storage space, the older children have a quiet area to do homework, work on projects, and socialize together.
- How many people participated in your service project?
Over 25 people including volunteers, donors and directors from Life Haven.
- How many hours did you and other participants spend on the project?
Overall, my team must have spent around 200-250 hours on this project. We were in
construction from October to the end of November. While fundraising, we spent about 20
hours at the tag sale, countless hours in business meetings with directors and managers to
discuss pricing, layout and future plans on how the new children’s center will impact all
the kids that stay at the shelter.
- What did you learn from this experience?
Throughout the past 4 months, I not only learned the true meaning of being at God’s
mercy and allowing Him to use me for His greater good, but also how to manage and
carry out a large scale project. I was able to learn different business aspects of it from
knowing how to save and spend money appropriately to fundraising and getting
businesses to commit to donating supplies. Overall, this project was able to put my name
out to the public so hopefully, another project can begin.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future?
My hope for the new children’s center is that it provides a safe and comfortable space for
the kids who stay at the shelter to feel inspired and motivated to excel in all aspects of
their life. We were able to provide new books and art supplies so they can work on
homework, projects or read a new book while relaxing with friends. We intentionally
included books that can reach children from multiple backgrounds and resource books
that can improve their academics. With all of this, it’ll provide kids the opportunity to
learn in a safe environment with all the resources that they would need at their fingertips.
- Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.
I believe that even though there were a few bumps in the road, everything happened for a
reason. If there weren’t any trials or tribulations throughout the past few months, then the
reward wouldn’t be as great. I’m extremely proud of everything that my team and I were
able to accomplish and I know the kids will be very excited and happy to have a place
where they can relax and work on their school work.
- How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?
Without the microgrant, I wouldn’t have been able to furnish the center with art supplies,
furniture and little things here and there that came up throughout construction. It covered
all of the building costs from wood and trim to plumbing supplies. Overall, the grant
played a major role in completing this project and without it, none of it would have become a reality.