Today is a guest post from Deirdre Catlett from Be the Change Youth Initiative. Deirdre and I got connected through my friend Bethany Tran of The Root Collective and when I heard about initiative that Deirdre’s teenage daughter Sydney has started, I knew I had to have her share their mission with y’all. This is amazing… please take a moment out of your day to hear what they are doing and to share the initiative with your friends, family, and community.
Last year, my daughter Sydney asked to sponsor a child’s wish through the Make A Wish Foundation. A tad over-zealous, she committed to the endeavor before knowing the $7,000 price tag. Quickly realizing her inability to babysit the required hours needed to cover such an expense, she recruited a few friends to help with the fundraising. She knew their gifts and talents (sports, music, art) and asked them to use those gifts to help raise the money. These kids ran in 5Ks, wrote fundraising letter, produced music, designed shirts, and engaged in all sorts of odd jobs and together they raised the money.
That October, our family went on a mission trip to Eleuthera, one of the poorest islands in the Bahamas. During our week there, Sydney came face to face with a level of poverty she had never before experienced. Weeks later, she wrote, “I began to realize how many things I take for granted in my life and I began to question how I live out my faith… I came back home burdened with a desire to help them, but not knowing how.” In the weeks and months ahead, we began to dream about using our fundraising strategy for Make A Wish Foundation help other kids all around the world. From that dream, Be The Change Youth Initiative came into existence.
At this very moment, we have kids all across the United States working hard to help build a daycare in Haiti with our ministry partner, Hands and Feet Project. These bakers, readers, entrepreneurs, athletes and artists have used their gifts and talents to help change the lives of many families in Haiti. In October, we’ll be working together to raise money for Africa New Life and their work in Rwanda. Additionally, our website will include artisan products from these countries with a portion of the proceeds going back to the ministries we support.
This October, Sydney heads to Nashville to record eight songs she has written for our partners at Be The Change Youth Initiative. Many of these songs will be given away in hopes of helping others. Using her gift of song writing, Sydney desires to use her music to platform organizations working tirelessly to help countless children around the world. There is so much going on and we would love for you to take part in the journey. We don’t officially launch the website until the fall, but you can find us on Instagram @bethechangeyi and our Facebook page, Be The Change Youth Initiative. You can also visit our Kickstarter to hear directly from Sydney about her heart for this organization and for helping equip the next generation of world changers.
FROM MOLLY: Dierdre and Sydney have been so kind as to donate a few fair trade gift items to give away to one of you! The gift bag includes a fair trade leather key chain, fair trade “Be the Change” leather cuff, fair trade kitenge fabric key fob, and fair trade kitenge fabric essential oil pouch. Use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter!