NEWS

Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Jason

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Meet K4C microgrant recipient Jason (15) from Boulder, CO. Jason & the Fairview High School Rotary Interact Club, a student-led club undertaking monthly service projects and fundraising which benefits their community, focused on assisting the homeless in this project. During the cold winter months, they provided blankets & pillows decorated with motivational messages to the homeless community to reduce discomfort & provide warmth.  The club also prepared nutritious meals & baked treats which they dispensed to the homeless.

  1. What inspired you to start this project? Our community has many people who are homeless because of the high cost of living. Therefore, our club realized that while we cannot change the root problem of homelessness, we can at least have an impact in reducing the stress that comes with being homeless. We realized that the biggest amount of impact we could have would be through doing community service projects to provide some basic necessities. Also, many people in our school are quite privileged and are not aware of the homeless situation and what it feels like to have an empty stomach. This project would be able to bring a couple of those people closer to reality as they interact and volunteer their time to help them.
  2. Other than you, how many student volunteers participated in your service project?  20
  3. How many adult volunteers participated in your service project?  1
  4. How many hours did you spend on your project?  8
  5. How many hours did other volunteers spend on your project? 8
  6. How many individuals were affected by your project?  200
  7. During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you?  All of us on the leadership team were very surprised by the amount of impact we were able to make. We were able to pass out the sandwiches and blankets we made to around 200 homeless on the street. With some of them, we were able to talk with them and it really changed our perception on homeless people. We realized that they all have their unique stories and one look at them is misleading.
  8. Overall what did you learn from this experience? Through this project, I really learned what community service was. Previously, the community service that I participated in were through organizations where my own interaction with the people I was helping was limited. Doing this project, many others and I were directly exposed to the people who we were helping, which has definitely changed my own identity. Mainly, I learned that a minuscule gift and a small conversation can really change a person’s attitude, if only for a short while. Many of the homeless people we interacted with immediately had a smile on their face once we sat down with them to talk and gave them whatever we made.
  9. How will your project continue having an impact in the future? The main impact we have had with this project is that we were able to alleviate some of the stress of the homeless community. Also, the fact that we spent time to interact with them and help them most likely had a positive effect on their conscience. This project was also able to pull in many previously naive people closer to the reality. Many of our volunteers talked about how they never have actually participated in a community project aimed to help the homeless and how they feel a lot more exposed to the reality of our society. Our project will continue to have an impact in the future because we changed the perception that some of the high schoolers had on the homeless.
  10. How was the K4C microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?  The K4C microgrant was the financial backer of our project. This grant allowed us to purchase the materials that we otherwise could not have bought. The materials in our blanket making and gift bag making wouldn’t have been doable without the K4C microgrant. This microgrant was also a large contributor in other people taking our projects and club seriously because we had the ability to make the impact we were advertising.