Kiva Collectors’ Mini Nonprofit Project (MNP) met recently. It was a dark rainy night, yet the small activity room in the basement of Great Neck House was packed with about 20 local elementary and middle school students.
Three tables were set up in a U shape in a room in the basement. Sarah Sun, a sixth grader at South Middle School and founder of the Mini Nonprofit project, started the meeting. She explained MNP’s mission, which is “always do good to help people live a better life,” and introduced some new team members.
MNP has been working to help make the world a better place by sponsoring students, improving education and donating to those in need.
“It started with sponsoring just one student in China,” said Sun. “And it grew.”
Within the last two years, MNP has grown from two kids and one project to more than 20 kids and three projects, which have empowered more than 50 children and helped eight entrepreneurs and 50 homeless people live a better life.
“The girl who Sarah sponsored in China last year has successfully graduated from fourth grade and is now a fifth grader,” according to the founder’s father, Yubing Sun. “This is the second year Sarah sponsored her for school education. Next year, we will have a happy graduate from the elementary school.”
Through MNP, Sun has run 15 competitions with more than 130 entries on kids’ finance and cash flow, empowering more than 50 children with solid financial knowledge. She was also able to assist in making eight dreams come true in six countries and improved the lives of 50 homeless people in the U.S.
“Sarah was able to help more than eight entrepreneurs through the Kiva platform around the world, one from the U.S., one from Brazil, three from Georgia, one from Lebanon, one from the Philippines and one from Puerto Rico,” said her father. “Sarah was also able to help 50 homeless by making a donation to Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia.”
At the group’s previous meeting, members formed three different teams—Red, White and Blue—and started researching a person in the world who struggles with poverty or needs help with his or her business.
The teams each wrote a speech persuading people to help their person, and all members would vote on which one MNP would sponsor. But, before the vote, a surprise visitor arrived at the meeting.
Mrs. Ayende from Lakeview Elementary School came to share some useful tips on how to write effective, persuasive essays. She came prepared with a draft of her own persuasive
essay and discussed the important points for writing a convincing speech.
“When you write, write from your heart.” Mrs. Ayende said. “That makes the writing really strong.”
The participants were rapt with attention as Mrs. Ayende spoke—MNP members could hear a pin drop. The room was completely still, except for the occasional scratch of pens on paper and Mrs. Ayende’s soft but firm voice ringing through the room. Her lecture helped us understand the heart of a persuasive essay.
Afterward, the teams made some final revisions, and it was time for their representatives to deliver the speeches. Every member could vote two times for the person they thought was the most convincing, but only one of the votes could be for their own team. The top two teams would get their choices of the person who would receive the much-needed sponsorship from MNP.
The debate was fun with good-natured competition. First place went to Team Blue, which Jonathan Wu represented with a confident and convincing speech on sponsoring Rami, who is in desperate need of assistance with his personal medical expenses in Lebanon.
Wu’s runners up were tied between Team Red and Team Blue, which settled the competition in the old-fashioned way of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Team Red won the chance of sponsoring Rinoben in India to start a grocery store.
When we walked out of the Great Neck House, the rain had faded into a halfhearted drizzle. Looking back, I realized that as small and informal as the meeting might have been, a group of kids made a difference. Someone far away in another corner of the world is going to be a step closer to fulfilling his or her dream.
Learn more at https://mininonprofit.weebly.com.
By 张瀚予 Yuhan Zhang
2018年12月16日晚的雨夜，Great Neck House活动室内却是灯火通明，热闹非常。今晚大约有20名左右的孩子参加了微公益项目Mini Nonprofit programm的活动。
活动开始的前面半个小时左右，先由Mini Nonprofit Program的创始人Sarah介绍了微公益项目的基本情况和新进加入的团队成员、并给大家讲解了这次主要的活动议程。
此次活动很荣幸地邀请到了特别嘉宾Mrs. Ayende来为团队成员们讲课。Mrs. Ayend是一位大颈镇Lakeville小学的五年级老师。
微公益项目的Kiva Collectors团队成员，每个月每个人都需要研究Kiva.org网站，并挑选一个自己希望资助的项目，写一篇文章，列出所选择项目对应的人、事和理由。团队成员分为有红、白、蓝三个小组。每次活动，每组选出两个人，经过演讲、辩论、和投票选出两个项目由微公益项目进行资助。这次活动中，Jonathan 是第一名，第二名是Annie。选择的Kiva项目分别是来自印度的里纳本和来自黎巴嫩的拉米。一月一次的活动，虽然次数很少，但是这样既能帮助别人、又能锻炼写作能力，可谓是一举两得。
Mini Nonprofit 是由大颈学区南初中六年级学生Sarah和她的弟弟Michael在父母的支持下，于2016年年底创办的公益项目。刚开始的时候是一个非常简单的想法，就是把用过的图书、玩具、衣服等放在门口，谁想要、谁就拿去，也可以自愿捐点钱，然后Sarah拿捐款的钱去支持公益事业。创始人的初衷很简单，但后来被告知不能在自己家门口一直做这个事情。后来，转到网上，进而一步一步的发展到现在。2018年，Sarah的微公益项目已经资助了8个Kiva项目、资助中国四川的一名小学生继续完成学业、帮助了50名无家可归人员为他们提供免费的比萨饼，同时还组织了大约有130参加人次的少儿财务和现金流比赛。为此我们得好好感谢一下Sarah、Michael和她们的父母。Mini Nonprofit Project 是一个很有意义的活动，这些孩子们也会成为我们大颈镇的希望之光。