You’re Never Too Young

A lie we often tell ourselves is that we are too young to make a difference in the world.

At 25 years old, you might expect that I have grown out of the lie, but I still catch myself believing it.

The lie allows us to abdicate our responsibility. We shrug off making a difference, because we are “powerless” to do anything; We “have no influence” on the course of human history. Believing the lie allows us to stand idle, waiting for someone else to put in motion the solutions to the world’s problems.

Unfortunately, it’s not true. No one is too young to make a difference.

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In December, I had the privilege of meeting the students of Carseland School, and encouraging them as they fund-raised in support of World Vision’s Gift Catalogue. As I stood in the school gym, waiting for the students to come in, I started talking with Mrs. Wade, the teacher that invited me to the school. She told me the origin of the fundraiser and how it all started with her young son, Oliver.

The previous year, Mrs. Wade and Oliver were sitting at a table in their local coffee shop, when Oliver noticed a World Vision gift catalogue sitting on their table. As Oliver flipped through the glossy pages and looked at the pictures of chickens, goats, and cows that could go towards helping people around the world, he was filled with a desire to make a difference. Mrs. Wade told me, “He knew bottles made money, so he started a bottle drive, encouraging all of his friends to help with the project.” That year, Oliver was able to raise enough money to reach his goal of purchasing a goat and a chicken for a family affected by extreme poverty.

This year, Mrs. Wade returned to work at Carseland School. Hoping to teach her students to be global citizens, she remembered Oliver’s successful Gift Catalogue campaign, and decided to hold a fundraiser for her students. So far this year, their Change for Change project has raised over 400$. Oliver held another bottle drive and was able to contribute 140$.

No one told Oliver he was too young to make a difference. The students at Carseland School didn’t believe the lie that they were too young to affect change. As a result, families around the world will benefit from their generous gifts through the World Vision Gift Catalogue.

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I want to tell you one more story. 45 years ago, in 1971, a 17-year-old named Ruth Roberts in Calgary was overcome with compassion for African children suffering from famine. Along with a group of 14 friends, Ruth Roberts organized a “starve-in” in the basement of their church to raise money and bring awareness to the famine. The group raised 600$ towards famine relief.

In the following years, the “starve-in” became an annual, international fundraiser known as the 30 Hour Famine. Every year, young people in 15 different countries who have rejected the lie that they can’t make a difference forego food to empathize and support those around the world that lack food security.

You are never to young too young to make an impact in the world. Stop waiting for someone to tell you it’s your turn to make a difference. The time is now to help.

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