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A small group is capable of doing big things

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By The Staff

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

This week, we look at asset nine, Service to Others. I know it sounds rather like a parent favoring one child over another, but asset-wise, this one is near the top of the list for me.

The definition according to the Search-Institute is that a “Young person serves in the community one or more hours per week.” Nationwide this asset is shared by 51 percent of those surveyed. Here locally, the number is identical. It’s nice to know that half of the kids you know are helping to benefit the well being of others.

Today, I wanted to mention three different projects that I’ve heard about, all being done by our local youth, concerning projects ranging from Los Alamos to Haiti.

The Chamisa Elementary Student Council is currently running its annual Pennies with Purpose drive. The students collect pennies throughout the month, brainstorm locations to send the money and then submit a ballot to every member of the student body to allow them to vote where to send the money.

Piñon Elementary School has raised funds with its Pennies for Port-Au-Prince project. On their own, some kids have done extra chores and earned additional money to donate to the effort. The grand total is $200 and the program of choice is Doctors without Borders.

The YMCA’s iCare program, that meets on Wednesdays, made giant cards and are currently working on additional projects to benefit the YMCA’s sister YMCA in Haiti. The beauty is that many of the projects come from the students. They occasionally just need an adult to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to make a project really comes together.

The youth of the United Church of Los Alamos are working tirelessly to raise items for their annual Mexico Mission auction. On March 7, a raffle will be held featuring new and used items to support home building projects in Mexico during spring break. If you have an item to donate, they’d love to have it. If you can stop by and make a purchase, they’d love to see you. If you can make a financial donation to aid their efforts, you make the world a better place.

This is more than just service to others. Many of these projects demonstrate that the youth are thinking about life outside of our fair city. It shows a regional and global connection to the world.

The Olympics are a great time to see the world on a grand scale, but it is a feeling that needs to transcend more than the Olympic time period. You often hear stories that while our athletes are all about Team USA, they are also happy to see their fellow competitors do well.

They also worry about them on the slippery slopes and don’t see it as a chance for their own success.

It is the same feeling of goodness that is supposed to follow you throughout the week after you attend the hour at church or synagogue or whatever spiritual activity you believe in. It is the reason people look so forward to the winter holidays. It is a sense of holiday that needs to exist all year.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets Coordinator for Los Alamos and can be reached at 661-4846 or via email at AssetsInAction@att.net. She can also be heard on Mondays from 9-10 a.m. on AM 1490, KRSN.