[The following is an exact repost of an original Facebook note I wrote on April 29, 2011 at 12:12 a.m. The intended audience of this note are my friends and my community who beyond my expectations supported me in this charity I created to raise money for the victims of the big earthquake in Japan in March 2011. This personal life event is no where among the most impressive things high school students have done, but it is something I hold dear to myself as my greatest achievement.]
The Difference You Made For A Country And An Incomplete Soul
Thank you everyone who helped support Project HOPE. I went to present the money we raised to the Minister of The Japanese Embassy today (the reason I had to leave the Senior Showcase early.) It was a really unforgettable encounter for me, and I must relay the embassy's heartfelt message to you. They are so grateful for all the donations they have been receiving in Thailand "The rebuilding process will take a long time.. now there have been over 14,000 deaths... over 11,000 people are missing... and more than 150,000 are living in evacuation centers," but nations like Thailand standing up behind the Japanese in hard times like this, inspire them the strength and hope for recovery.
"HOPE" has definitely impacted my life in a way that I never imagined any charitable act would. It has brought me closer to the people in my community, introduced me to new people, and even helped me reconcile with a few. As I continue to work on "HOPE" everyday (I am still selling shirts), I have come to recognize that it is a greater, unselfish cause that I have been longing to live for. Honestly, my energy has never been put into better use.
Again, thank you.
Thank you for your charity and for empowering me.