Teens Take Charge Advisory Council Member Megan Rivkin challenges young people to get involved in advocating and fundraising to increase research efforts and public awareness of the condition.
By Megan Rivkin
I’ve always loved “the big picture.” Growing up, I struggled with community service because I felt that sitting there doing small task manual labor was a waste of my time in comparison to the large-scale impact I felt I could be making. I organized bake sales, bracelet sales, a Cabaret Night, and have now booked a large event at my school in order to raise money for hydrocephalus. But here’s where I struggle. How do you make an impact and help out without constantly asking everyone you know for money in some form or another?
This seems to me to be a problem for many, especially youth trying to help out a cause, whether they realize it or not. They are stuck either packing lunches, one at a time, or sending out blast emails asking for donations. Although these activities are significant and helpful, I think there is more we can do.
A few years ago I went to Washington, D.C., with a program through the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC), where I learned how to take a stand for something I believed in, and to work to change it. I met with aides for my local congressperson and senators, and expressed my call for improved disability rights to them. I sure hope they listened.
Of course, we can’t all fly to D.C. and ask for more funding, but I think that there are more ways than we realize that we, as teens, can put our skills to the test. Love to write? Start a letter writing campaign to your local and national governmental representatives. Artsy? Sell your crafts on Etsy and donate the proceeds. Love kids? Babysit for donations. Love theatre? Write a play that inspires others to make a change. Get a team together for your local HA WALK, if there is one near you.
There are infinite ways to help a cause. This summer, I challenge you to take whatever you have a knack for, and use it to help fund research for hydrocephalus!