February 7th 2015

Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and Ellen DeGeneres, are all incredibly talented and beautiful women, but I believe that their beauty comes from their heart to give back. I myself admire and am inspired by people who use their life to give back to other people. I am not saying you have to go all Mother Theresa on the world, but taking time out of your day to give the gift of time is a beautiful thing.

My family and I have had a lot of support over the years during my surgeries and hard times, which has inspired me to give back and volunteer. You do not have to be an adult to volunteer. I started young and worked in my church’s nursery and events that they put on. It can be as simple as helping a neighbor out or babysitting a sibling, making your parents dinner. At a young age you may think you can’t contribute, but even the smallest children can make a difference. I know young kids who have done fundraisers and walked to support a cause. Children can do some amazing things.

Throughout middle school and high school I was able to raise money for; children with muscular dystrophy, the American Heart Association, and volunteered at the Salvation Army, in my school district, etc. Not only does it feel good to donate your time, but it feels amazing to give back to places that have helped you or have potentially helped someone you know. I have raised several thousand dollars for the American Cancer Society in honor of my beautiful grandmother who fought cancer and eventually died from liver cancer in October of 2013.

I served meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Ann Arbor, giving back to families like my own who have stayed there while their children were patients at the hospital. I have also been a part of a radio-thon that raised money for Mott Children’s Hospital, where I was a patient dozens of times.

One of the most exciting things that I have had the opportunity to do is travel to Haiti, and do missions work at several orphanages and hospitals. I believe it’s especially rewarding when you are changed in the process of giving back and this is a prime example. Being able to see and experience Haiti and love on these children was an amazing experience which I did not want to end. I’m leaving again for Haiti the 22nd of this month so, I will be finishing off my blog during that time, if WiFi permits.

Whether you help a neighbor take in their groceries, serve a meal at the local soup kitchen, or travel across the country to work with orphans, everyone has the power to make someone’s day a little brighter. How are you going to use your gifts to give back to the world?

Saydee Robinson

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