By getting involved and helping other kids in need, we get a new perspective on the world and see the reality which some people are living in. In this day and age, there are many kids that live in a ‘bubble’ with no knowledge of what is happening in the outside world. We get to learn and understand other cultures and how other kids our age live. When we volunteer and meet people that are less fortunate than us, we realize how much we take for granted like family, safety, and our education. Before going to Turkey to volunteer with refugees, I had never fully understood how fortunate I was in my life. After meeting so many families that were living on the streets and who had lost absolutely everything, I thought back to all the things that I had that I didn’t appreciate. When I first met refugee kids my age, I was so moved by how similar we were and yet how different our lives had been. We laughed, joked, and even took selfies, forgetting about all our differences. I realized that our worlds aren’t so different and far apart. Helping others is very important for kids that are fortunate, to help understand the world that surrounds them and how so many people need help. When we don’t know or learn about what is going on in the world, we aren’t able to connect with the people that are in need. When you volunteer, though, you replace news headlines with real stories, and statistics with faces and smiles that remain in your heart forever. Another thing I found within myself that I didn’t know I had before was compassion. When I experienced what it was like to give without expecting anything in return and love and care for people I didn’t even know, I saw the direct impact I could have on people’s lives and how small acts of kindness could inspire people with little hope. I always considered myself a compassionate person, but never knew how deep my love and caring for others could be until I worked with those who truly needed me. Through this deep compassion, I saw how much I needed them too. I never really thought that as one person alone I could make such a big difference in someone’s life until I started volunteering.
How did I start volunteering?
My work and inspiration first started when we were in Jordan and made many friends with Syrian refugees. I was so moved and inspired that it lit a spark in me and showed me that there was something more in the world I could do. After hearing about what was happening in Greece and Turkey last September, we decided to go last minute to Turkey and volunteer to see what we could do. We ended up meeting so many incredible people and giving out clothes, food, water, and most of all, toys. Our main focus was the kids and we loved playing with them. Many of the children hadn’t had a stuffed animal for a very long time and were overwhelmed with joy. One memory that I will never forget was when a little girl approached us asking for money and we reached into our bag and pulled out a toy instead. Her face lit up with joy, and just for a moment, she became a kid again. One of the most rewarding experiences was when a family told us that they didn’t need help, but just to be treated with some love, respect and kindness, and that they are human beings just like us. They had been through so many heart-breaking and hard experiences that many had lost faith in humanity, and we, by helping a little, had given them a glimpse of the hope and love that they had missed. After these experiences, I founded a charity called Kids Unite 4 Hope that is now helping children all over the world and inspiring young people in schools to learn about the world and go out and make a difference. We believe that, as the youth of today, we are the future leaders of tomorrow, and we must do something to make the world a better place. It is in our hands to come together and create a brighter future for the generations to come. So to all the teens and kids out there, this is your chance to make a difference in the world! Go out and volunteer!
Kaitlin Murray, Age 17, Kids Unite for Hope
Kids Unite 4 Hope is a charity that helps kids in need and inspires children’s to make a difference in their community and around the world. We know that the youth of today are the future leaders, teachers, and parents of tomorrow and we must come together to make the world a better place. The charity was started by Kaitlin, Cassidy, and Trevor Murray, three siblings that travel around the world with their family. After volunteering in Turkey with Syrian refugees, they decided to start a charity to raise money for refugee kids and inspire other kids to make a difference.
Their main focus is helping refugee kids fleeing war in the Middle East – especially Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. While volunteering, their goal is to provide aid to the refugee kids and give them inspiration and hope. They want to inspire children to achieve their dreams and have hope for their futures.
Photo: Courtesy of Kids Unite For Hope