American Girl!

Wow, my last blog was March 6th! This has been one of the busiest months in quite some time.  Between being out of town for spring break, SGA, my internship, and preparing for summer internships, I have not had time to sit down and blog.

Lucky for me, today is a snow day! Yes, you heard it here, folks.  It is snowing on March 25, 2013 in Maryland. Mother Nature must be teasing all of us who love spring!  I will never turn down a snow day, though.  So, no complaints coming from this blogger. The snow looks beautiful outside my apartment window and I have a lot of time to finish a long list of things to do.  This list has been piling high!

For today’s blog, I wanted to focus on discussing community service.  As the Director of Community Outreach for Stevenson University’s SGA, I have to find two service projects for SGA to participate in each semester.  This semester I chose a volunteer opportunity that really inspired me.  Saturday, March 23, I (along side other SGA members) volunteered for the American Girl Fashion Show in Baltimore.  This show benefited the University of Maryland’s Children’s Hospital and the Cool Kids Campaign.

If you ever get the opportunity to see the show or participate in some way for this cause, I highly recommend it.  After volunteering for this amazing event, I gained a lot of respect for American Girl and their products.  The company allows organizations to host fashion shows in order to raise funds for children’s causes.  I think this idea is incredibly innovative and just awesome! Growing up, I loved American Girl Dolls. Almost every girl that volunteered with me had something positive to say about the dolls they owned or wished they owned.  I think it says a lot about a company who strives to help the community.  What I love most about American Girl (the company) is their mission to help girls become their very best.  The company does not just make a doll for girls to play with.  They strive to empower young girls to dream big and stand tall.  The dolls are just symbols of those aspects.  If you every are interested, check out the American Girl website and read about their missions and philanthropy efforts.  You will be impressed and glad to see that such a giant company is striving to accomplish more than producing dolls for children to play with.

One of the models I was working with, Riley, was an incredible young girl.  She told me how much she loved to read and play with her American Girl doll.  Riley classified herself as a “book worm” and I couldn’t help but laugh.  She was so sweet and had a passion for learning.  While waiting for her act in the show, she asked me to read to her.  Without hesitation I picked up the chapter book and began.  We got through three chapters until we had to line up for her strut on the big stage.  While in line Riley told me how happy she was to meet me and asked if she could take me home with her.  I have to be honest with you all… if I was not a full-time student… I would have taken her up on that offer, haha! Unfortunately, I had to tell her that I was unable to live with her, but if I ever saw her again after today, I would be sure to say hello.  I proceeded to ask her if she would be participating in the show next year.  Her response was incredible, “I really want to! But, I think I should give another girl the chance to do this. Everyone deserves a chance.”  I almost cried (happy tears of course).  Children are often selfish and that is completely normal.  However, it was so wonderful to hear a child give up something she really wanted to do just so another girl could have the opportunity to walk across the stage.  I told the sweet girl that she was a great person for allowing someone else the chance to participate and that she should be very proud of her decision.  Riley smiled and said, “My friend is in the audience today. She wanted to model but did not make the cut… and I did. She came here to support me even though I am walking the runway and she is not. I hope she walks next year because she deserves it.” I hope she walks next year too.  Not just for her but for Riley, too.  I know it would please Riley to see her friend get the opportunity she was lucky enough to get.

Volunteering can bring you together with people who may change your perspectives in life.  It can inspire you to do something amazing or help someone accomplish something they never thought they could.  For me, volunteering for the American Girl Fashion Show inspired me to explore careers in this company and companies like it.  I really want to work for a company that believes in giving back to the community.  Giving back to those who are less fortunate than you really can change someone’s life… even your own.

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