How one alum met the needs of her community with blankets
A note from Ambassador Leaders: Jende made a difference in her hometown of Redlands, CA by coordinating a blanket drive for foster children. This is her story:
I had the opportunity to go to Yale University for an Ambassador Leadership Summit in 2016 to learn about leadership and courage. During that week, I learned about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens® and about the great Lead2Feed program.
When I got back home to California, I thought about the different ways I could give back to the community. Because my mom is a social worker, I started thinking about all of the foster children she works with. Since many of the kids are in low-income families, I decided to start a community garden called Kinder Garden, so that they would have healthy snacks for school and maybe even a full lunch. Almost everything was set, but the idea just did not blossom. That didn’t stop me, so I brainstormed some more and I thought of no-sew blankets.
"I used the skills and values I learned during the Summit to push my idea forward, and it happened!"
Since we were heading into winter at the time, I thought, Why not give the kids something warm and cozy for the season? I presented the idea to a local foster agency, and got them on board. I used social media and asked for donations. Almost instantly, I had new, no-sew blanket kits pouring in! They weren’t donated just from local family and friends, but even from strangers, and some were even shipped to me. I had friends from school help me make these no-sew blankets and we even wrapped some toys from the toy drive. In total, we had more than 120 blankets that were donated for the kids.
I used the skills and values I learned during the Summit to push my idea forward, and it happened! Thank you to Ambassador Leaders for showing me to stand up for what I believe in, and that we all should give back to our community!
By Jende Uy
Jende is an alum of the 2016 Ambassador Leadership Summit at Yale University.