Helping Others

Emily Clark

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People in America are very fortunate to get a quality education, but what about those who can’t? Children around the world have to work to support their family instead of waking up and going to school. What child wants to spend the rest of their life working when they should be learning? This is where the most important bracelets come to help.

Yuda Bands are just seven dollar bracelets, but is there more than what meets the eye? This bangle has a story to it, and that story began at a trip to Guatemala. A family, named the Whitings, all decided to go to Guatemala to help a friend named Daniel. Daniel’s dream was to help his people, and the Whitings were there to accomplish that goal. “In San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala, Daniel’s hometown, there are 80,000 people, 1 public Jr. High, and NO public high schools. The average Guatemalan lives on less than $2 a day and has less than 3-years of schooling, and nearly the entire population seems doomed to repeat a pattern that has existed for generations—work in the fields to provide only enough food to survive,”( 1). With the staggering difference of education in America, the Whitings went home and started raising money. After getting eighteen friends, they were able to sponsor thirty kids. In 2008, the family finally had the idea of getting bracelets to sell, and then the plan was born.

Yuda Bands are leather bracelets that have a design made out of wood attached to it. The design can be anywhere from a peace sign to an elephant. The purpose of the band is to create opportunities for kids in the future. “Yuda Bands are bracelets that people in Guatemala make for children education,” explained Julia Dorweiler. The band costs seven dollars, and all of the money raised will go to the funding of education for children in third world countries.

The money raised from Yuda Bands goes toward teens that need an education. Ray-Pec East Middle School chose a girl named Maria to represent the fundraiser. “Maria goes to school on Saturday and works all week to help support her family,”( 1). Maria has to work at a house as a maid to get money for her entire family, but the yuda bands will help Maria to get that better education because her parents can not pay for it. Education is important to Maria, and she explains why, “It is so hard to work and go to school, but I do it for my mom because I hope one day to give her all she deserves. It is my dream to give her everything she deserves.” Not only does Maria want to give back to her mom, she wants to study nursing to help those who need it. To be able to support this dream and get education for the rest of her life, Maria has to sell 556 yuda bands.

NJHS is an organization that stands for National Junior Honor Society. Brooke Miller said, “NJHS is filled with kids that have good grades, good character, and are respectful.” The RPEMS organization were the ones to set up the charity event. They were able to get the bracelets after signing up on the Yuda Band website and then choosing the student to represent. Their job was to run the booth for the bracelets, and to keep track of how many were sold. NJHS was a crucial part of this experience because without them, this fundraiser wouldn’t have happened.

The fundraising part of the program lasted for eight days. In that little time span, RPEMS was able to sell 500 bands, which raised 3,500 dollars for Maria, and gave her a chance to finally learn. “The average amount of bands sold are 200 per school,” exclaimed Coach Miller. RPEMS did an amazing job to show their support for the cause and their generous donations will now allow Maria to have a fantastic life learning everything for nursing.

Students don’t even need to be in NJHS to help others around them. A simple act like holding a door open for someone will brighten their day. Money doesn’t necessarily mean happiness, kindness does. Spreading kindness will be a factor to changing each other’s lives for the better. Giving a compliment to someone is just like giving a dollar to them, it is important for their life. Another way to help others is to just sign up for something, and that can be working at a retirement home. Volunteering doesn’t have to be about education either, there are many things that need help in the world, like trash on the side of roads that need cleaning up.

Lastly, the money that RPEMS got will completely change the life of Maria for the better good. Maria will be able to become a nurse and help support her family even more than she does now. She will actually have a shot for a normal life, and that is with the help of NJHS. NJHS needs more credit for what they accomplish, for they help the city around them and create a better community at school. Yuda Bands are crucial to the lives of others, and without them there wouldn’t be as many kids at school.

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