He Was My Motivation | Teen Ink

He Was My Motivation

December 19, 2011
By Marianna GOLD, Andover, Massachusetts
Marianna GOLD, Andover, Massachusetts
10 articles 6 photos 1 comment

Looking back, it was Christian’s face that made me persevere- even though the money was not going to him and I may never see Christian again. But it was for Christian that I chose to sell my bracelets.

On January 12th, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated Haiti. When the images rolled in of the destroyed houses, the rubble, and the bodies, I felt compelled to do more than sit and watch. Ever since a mission trip with my church to Juarez, Mexico, where I had met Christian, I had wanted to continue working with people living in poverty. When the earthquake hit, I responded by using my time and my skills to help.
For just under a year I had been teaching myself to make bracelets out of embroidery floss. Each time I mastered a new design, I challenged myself to learn a more complicated and intricate bracelet. Soon I was making more bracelets than could fit on my wrist! After hearing the news from Haiti, I decided to launch my own business on Facebook. I explained that all the proceeds would go to the earthquake victims, and I added pictures of the thirty different bracelets I could make along with their prices.
Within one week I had sixty-five orders, and forty more interested people. I had orders from my volleyball teammates, from kids at school I had never met, and even one from my brother’s college roommate in Walla Walla, Washington. I found that I needed to finish a bracelet a day to keep up with the demand. Then three of my teachers learned about the project and allowed me to work on the bracelets during class. The support of my entire community of friends, family, and classmates was especially gratifying.
Just walking down the halls and seeing kids with my handiwork on their wrists was very encouraging though there were times when I questioned the value of the project. How could a few hundred dollars make a difference to kids who had lost everything? Then I would remember the two peso coin that Christian gave me when we said goodbye at the end of my Mexico trip. He explained that he wanted to give me a gift and the best thing he had was this coin. I realized the coin meant a lot to him and his generosity touched me. Christian had very little, but he still wanted to share it. The kids at the Haitian orphanage would appreciate whatever I had to offer, just as I still treasure Christian’s gift.
After four months, I had raised $720 and made over a hundred bracelets. I chose to send the money to Hope for the Children of Haiti, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, which my church has supported for many years. I was glad that the money I had earned would go to kids like Christian, who deserved to live enriching lives but were not. As I placed the check in the mail, I imagined how the orphanage would use the money. I hoped the children would eventually have comfortable beds and new books and maybe some soccer balls to share.

Sometimes I worried that I was taking on too much by myself. But then I would think about all the people willing to pay, sometimes up to $20, for just one of my bracelets, about Christian’s encouragement, and about my teachers who heard what I was doing and affirmed me. A multitude of people wanted to help Haiti and supported my project. I have learned that it is the things we do not do, not the things we choose to do that we regret the most. I am pleased with the amount of money I raised but I am particularly satisfied that I responded to the need I saw.

The author's comments:
This is the essay that I wrote for the common app this year. I hope you guys like it. It was important to me to write and it explained a lot of the passions that I have on my resume.

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