by Justin H '17

Helping Hands Initiatives

On Monday September 30th, Helping Hands voted on which initiatives they would focus on to start the year. They decided on three.  One is “Love Without Boundaries”, an organization that helps orphaned children in China get medical help, foster care, and education.  They can arrange surgeries for children whose lives are in danger, such as heart surgery, cleft repair, and palate repair, among others.  The foster care program currently has over 220 participants and provides the orphans with a family.  Orphans from Kindergarten up until college are getting education through “Love Without Boundaries”.  This organization can affect over 1,000,000 orphans in China.

Another initiative Helping Hands is focusing on is a group of organizations that help Syrian refugees.  One, the International Rescue Committee, gives refugees water and provides them with schooling and sanitation.  The second, Mercy Corps, but gives water alongside clothing, blankets, mattresses, and helps children by giving them safe spaces and playgrounds.  The third, the International Medical Corps, provides health care to the refugees.  There are more than 4,000,000 refugees that can be helped by these organizations.

The third initiative is the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT).  Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the CVT offers many services to tortured victims.  On their website, the CVT defines torture as “a deliberate and systematic dismantling of a person’s identity and humanity through physical or psychological pain and suffering.”  They offer healing to torture victims, train people to act as healers and assign counselors to torture survivors. The counselors consistently check on past victims and research other methods to help and support them emotionally, and advocate for stopping torture.  After being founded in 1985, the CVT has helped over 23,000 torture victims.

Even though Helping Hands only voted on the initiatives on September 30th, fundraising started six days earlier.  On Tuesday, September 24, Elizabeth Kwon ’14 put together a bake sale for the Korean-American Family Service Center (KAFSC).  The KASFC is an organization for sexual assault and domestic violence.  One program they have is called the Hodori Program, which is an education and daycare center for families that experienced domestic violence or sexual assault.  When the government decided to cut funding for the Hodori program, many people, including Elizabeth, donated money.  The bake sale raised $109.50, which was over the goal of $100.  This year, BSGE seems to have no shortage of charities and organizations to donate to.

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