Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet Anna (17) from Loretto, TN, the founder of her school’s Recycling Club. Along with other Recycling Club members, she used her award to refurbish the recycling shed to make it easier and safer to use. The shed is used by everyone in their school and in the greater community. The newly created Recycling Club includes a branch of the UDL (Special Needs) class, and it was important for the club to include them in this project.
1. How many volunteers participated in your service project (other than you)? 50 youth and 6 adults
2. How many hours did you specifically spend on your project? If other participants were involved, how many hours did they spend on the project?
I spent 9 hours on the project; 20 of the youth spent 3-4 hours each; 30 of the youth spent 1-2 hours each. Adults averaged 5 hours each.
3. How many individuals were affected by your project?
This project affects the whole student body (500 students) and staff. This also affects the whole community.
4. What did you learn from this experience?
As a member and founder of the LHS Recycle Club, this experience has taught me a lot. For starters, it has taught me that we cannot get things done sometimes without the help from others. It has also opened my eyes to see that if we can get this project done, we can do others. This project has not only helped me see more opportunities and encouraged me to continue helping promote recycling awareness, but it has planted a seed for many more projects to come. It has played a big role in not just my life but in many students lives who have worked on this project. Now, the recycle building has also become a symbol of hard work that students can look at and know that they helped make it possible. However, most importantly it has taught me teamwork and has taught me that sometimes just helping others is very important, and we are all just one big team working together.
5. How will your project continue having an impact in the future?
This project will continue to make an impact in the future by allowing people to be able to access the recycle building easier inside and outside school hours. The recycle building was in a very difficult spot for people to access, it was closed off a lot during certain hours, and it was in a bad shape. However, now people not only in school have a place to put their recyclables, but the community now has a safe location to bring their recyclables. This building is not only in a better location, but now advertises recycling very well with all the remodeling that was done to it with the help of this grant.
6. Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.
The project went very well. It involved students of different types, both the general education students as well as the special education UDL students. Different classes were involved that were normally not included such as the Plumbing & Electrical Class, the AG class, and the UDL class and the Recycle Club. It was a good interactive activity that helped the school and community. There were several snags along the way that caused a delay in the completion, but the cooperation between the different areas resolved every obstacle. The building too is now more usable and is the best recycle building in the county that our students can be proud of.
7. How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?
The Karma for Cara microgrant was very helpful in helping the LHS Recycle Club complete this project. The LHS Recycle Club is a new club and has not had many opportunities to raise large amounts of money to fund projects like this one. This grant not only provided the club with funds to complete the project, but it has encouraged many students to see that projects can be accomplished if you work hard and do not give up. Thank you for your generosity and for allowing all of this to be possible.