Sunday, July 3, 2011

Promising Pages: Caroline Blizzard

My friend started a charity called promising Pages to get books to poor kids.  Here's an aritcle I wrote for her...

I'd like to be more like Caroline Blizzard. 

When the 13 year old book lover was charged with choosing a community service project for her Language Arts class, she decided to look for something different from what her classmates were doing.  I think that's the American way - doing something new and different, not following the crowd.  Caroline's divergence from the norm brought her to Promising Pages, a successful new not for profit organization.  Promising Pages concentrates on getting books to children who might not otherwise hold a book until kindergarten, so it was a perfect match for Caroline, a Marvin Ridge Middle School student.  "Since I love to read, I wanted to give children who may not have access to books the chance to develop a love of reading as well," says Caroline, who likes to work with children.

Many of us have good intentions and want to help people have better lives, but fewer of us find the time and motivation to do something about it.  Caroline Blizzard and Kristina Cruise, the founder of Promising Pages, are two individuals who have made service to the community a priority.  They are bringing smiles to people's faces and it may not be immediately evident, but they are changing lives, one page at a time, by improving early education for thousands of children.

Caroline partnered up with Promising Pages and faced the challenge of getting the word out about her book drive; she passed out 300 fliers in her neighborhood and made announcements at three local schools where she set up drop-boxes.  I admire the generosity of Caroline and her family, who devoted cherished time to the endeavor of spreading the news to the community that kids need books and there are ways to help.  Miss Blizzard collected many more books than she expected.  "I felt excited when the books first started to come in because I got so many at a time.  I am very pleased with how many I have collected," responded Caroline.  I'm very pleased, too, and I applaud Caroline for her efforts and the inspiration she is to her peers.

It feels good to help other people.  According to some studies, helping others may be a key component to personal happiness and fulfillment.  About 600 children will benefit from Caroline's motivation and hard work and she will surely achieve her hope to "make many children happy."  Caroline gained perspective from her focus on underprivileged children and reflected, "It really made me stop and think how fortunate I am to have access to any books that I want to read."  Undoubtedly, one benefit of helping our fellow citizens is gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment, and we all benefit when we support each other.

Caroline is thinking about making her book drive partnership with Promising Pages a yearly event that she shares with her family.  Next time she says that she would "start earlier to give people more time," and "send fliers to other local neighborhoods."  Good luck Caroline.  I'm grateful for the giving spirit of community volunteers like Caroline, and I'm so glad that there is an organization like Promising Pages out there to help people help each other.  Thank you Promising Pages!

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