By Mia ’25
Though many opportunities have been presented to me as a Harvard-Westlake student, one of the best has been having the ability to create the community service organization of my dreams. Without the support and encouragement of my school, my visions for helping others would not have been possible.
At the start of COVID-19, I watched the number of cases quickly surge and listened helplessly to heartbreaking stories of lives being taken far too young. Additionally, the mental health crisis continued to worsen, and I worried for children in the hospital with few visitors being allowed to keep them company. This inspired me, with the help of two friends, to create a community service event to support those in the hospital who may need it as a result of the pandemic. Kits4Kids focuses on helping children as well as parents of newborns by reassuring them that they are not alone during difficult times. By assembling kits with items like games, books, and cards, as well as essentials for parents of newborns, we hoped to bring smiles to as many families as we could during their stays in the hospital.
The three of us worked tirelessly to construct a detailed plan of how to get the idea up and running. Once our many spreadsheets and Google Documents were complete, we sent an email to the head of community service, Keith Jordan, and our teacher mentor, Dr. Decker. The two were elated to be involved and offered to help in any way possible. During our next big step, we brainstormed how we could raise the money needed to invest in our items. Not much later, Mr. Jordan supplied us with more than enough funds to purchase our goods. After working tirelessly for several months, we had prepared everything necessary for a successful event; our only problem was that we had no location nor marketing. Once again, Harvard-Westlake stepped up and offered to host. We were also given time to speak during student assemblies to explain our organization’s mission and give reasons why to support our cause. After opening sign ups, we were amazed to see our original guess of one hundred volunteers almost triple in size!
After watching our event become a resounding success, we were inspired to pursue our idea further. This past summer, we learned UI/UX design to create a website for our organization, and we plan to continue expanding our organization as much as we can.
Because of Harvard-Westlake, our idea was able to turn into a truly special reality. My dream to help others has become a journey like no other, and I am beyond grateful to my school as my community service opportunity continues to grow and flourish.