Seven years ago, a
trip across the globe inspired a compassionate young girl to set out on a
mission to help kids in need. She made
it happen. Since that trip, Neha Gupta,
now 16 years old, of Fairless Hills, Penn., has helped thousands of children
through her non-profit organization, Empower Orphans.
At the age of 9, Neha was volunteering at an orphanage
during a trip to India. “I realized that without an education, children there
faced bleak futures,” she explains. “The children would tell me how they longed
to make something of their lives but were unable to do so, as they did not have
the opportunity to gain a sound education.
In my opinion, every child deserves an education, healthcare, and most
Seeing the kids’ struggles heartbreaking, but Neha decided
she didn’t just want to feel bad – she wanted to do something.
“Instead of internalizing these feelings and merely showing
empathy for the orphans, I decided to take action by founding Empower Orphans,”
Empower Orphans is a non-profit that provides education and
health care to orphaned and disadvantaged kids around the world. So far, Neha
has raised more than $500,000 and helped 15,000 children. She has established
libraries, sponsored 50 kids’ education, donated 45 vans of home goods to
families, installed water walls and purification systems—all sorts of things to
give young people a chance to lead a better life.
This year, Neha was named a National Honoree at the
Prudential Spirit of Community awards, a yearly program that recognizes middle
level and high school students for outstanding community service. Being recognized as a National Honoree makes
her one of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers for 2012. Congrats, Neha!
She believes that all girls can make a difference in the
world. “I strongly believe in the Power
of One,” she says. “One person
definitely has the ability to make a positive change in the lives of thousands
in their community. Becoming that one
person is easy if you convert your empathy into action.” Neha has definitely seen the Power of One
through her own work. She shares this example: “Three years ago, I donated sewing machines
to older girls at a sewing center that I started. When I went to India last
summer, one of the girls invited me to her home. . . She informed me with great
pride and gratitude that her earnings as a seamstress allowed the family to get
electricity in their house for the first time.”
If you want to get involved in Empower Orphans, Neha
suggests you form a club in your school and start a fundraising team. “These clubs can identify a need to help
children in their local community and organize an event or fundraiser to
support it,” Neha says.
Fundraising teams can
be formed on the website, www.EmpowerOrphans.org.
You can also e-mail Neha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information
on the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and how to apply, click here.
BY MARIE HANSEN ON 10/15/2012 2:19:00 PM
POSTED IN Get Inspired, charity, do gooder