On May 21st, I celebrated my 16th birthday and wanted to have a "Sweet 16" party and invite a lot of friends. My parents and I discussed the party and we all decided that my birthday party would also find a way to make a contribution back to our community, either locally or globally. My idea was to ask all of my guests not to bring birthday gifts for me, but instead make a donation to a charity of my choice. I choose to have my friends and their families donate money to the Global Fund for Women.
I chose the Global Fund as a result of having attended a fundraising breakfast earlier this year, at my middle school. One of the honorary speakers was Kavita Ramdas, who spoke about her work at the Global Fund for Women. I liked the stories she told, the passion she showed for her work. Afterwards, I wondered what I could do to make a difference in the world.
I had 116 of my friends attend my party on June second, and together we raised a total of $2,480 for the Global Fund for Women! People contributed through checks, cash and online donations. My mother and I were very surprised when we counted all the donations and realized how much money had been collected! It is a testament to how inspired local teenagers and their families were by this opportunity. My birthday and the party were a lot of fun, but I feel even better when I think that all of us together have helped to make a difference in the world for women's rights, for human rights and for greater global compassion. This was one of the best things I have ever done and I am really proud of how well it all turned out.
Erin Piper will be entering her junior year at Gunn High School in Palo Alto this Fall.