In Their Own Words: Ava Marzullo's Summer of Giving Back

My name is Ava Marzullo, and this summer, I achieved over 45 hours of community service and volunteer hours. 
Throughout July, I started raising money for a teacher (Ernie Morgan/Mrs.Morgan) at Continental Colony, a low-income school. I frequently went to the school to be of use to Mrs. Morgan and other teachers in need. Mrs. Morgan has been a family friend of mine for several years and came to me with the hope that I would be able to help her support her students and benefit the school. The first task I was given was finding 12 sponsors (families or individuals) to donate $20, allowing a student to receive ten new books during the school year. I was originally asked to support just one of the four kindergarten classes by finding only 12 sponsors and raising $240. Rather than only giving my attention to one kindergarten class, I took it upon myself to find sponsors and raise money for each student in the kindergarten grade (all four classes). By the third day, I had raised $500, almost double the amount I had originally asked to raise. During the days I attended the school, my mind was focused on providing for the students and teachers and giving my time, knowledge, and energy to the community. Originally, I was going to give all of my attention to Mrs.Morgan, but as soon as I arrived, I decided to offer my help to all the teachers who needed help. While at the school, I used my creativity setting up and decorating classrooms, working with children in small groups, printing out worksheets and turning them into folders, and handling anything else I could to help stressed teachers. As soon as I started helping Mrs. Morgan, I quickly learned that being able to give back to a community different from mine felt amazing, and it’s important for me to give back to the people who are not as fortunate as I am. Throughout my journey of volunteering and donating, I hope to prove to the people around me that small acts of kindness can make a big impact and create happiness. Since July 17th, the day I began collecting donations, I have raised over $800 and plan to keep collecting donations for the children and the school. 
Another big volunteer project I started this summer was spending much of my time helping a professional organizer, Christia, declutter and organize elderly people’s homes. I helped her go through everything and clean out unnecessary things. The first home I helped her with happened to be my grandparents’ house. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a special relationship with my grandparents. Over the last few years, especially since Covid, my grandparents have faced several medical issues. Due to their issues, they’re constantly going to different doctors and are slowly losing the ability to take care of their home. As soon as I heard an organizer would be coming in to declutter their home and make it more accessible, I knew I wanted to help. It feels important for me to give my time and attention to my grandparents and make sure they are comfortable in their own home because they’ve always been there for me and would do anything for me. Being able to help them felt like I was able to take care of them like they would with me.
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