Hand-in-Hand youth group makes a difference
A group of 12-14-year-olds from different schools, churches and backgrounds across Douglas County have joined hands to help those less fortunate than they are and to make a difference both at home and around the world.
The group is called Hand-in-Hand and was created by 14-year-old Peyton Miller in May.
Miller said the idea started as a school project on local and world issues.
“Poverty is something that really hurts my heart,” said Miller. “I wanted to help those who need a helping hand whether near or far. It captivated everyone in my class and was an eye opener.”
Miller said peers wanted to contribute their own ideas to hers, such as depression, illiteracy and world hunger and make a difference together.
“It felt like God was reaching out and guiding me to do this, like this is what I am suppose to be doing at this point in my life,” said Miller. “Then he called upon others to journey the same purpose with me.”
The group creates a list of options where help is needed. Then they decide how they will help.
In August, the group held a rummage sale to assist two youth. Local resident Trent Almeida, who was diagnosed in April with B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and Emily Craig, a 2-year-old from New Jersey who, as a result of seizures at 18 months, is confined to a wheelchair and is fed through a feeding tube. Hand-in-Hand was able to raise $2,225 which is being split between the two.
“It’s a good feeling to have when you help someone even if they didn’t ask,” said member Camden Miller.
“That’s what this group is about, whether we know the person or not, it’s about giving without expecting anything in return,” added member Kole Karwoski.
Hand-in-Hand also donated hygienic items to Hurricane Harvey victims recently.
“We bounce around what the biggest problem in the world is right now, and do what we can to help,” said Miller.
The group plans to sponsor a child through Compassion International-a child advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty, create a book box to help end illiteracy and do more fundraisers and events to help those in need.
“It’s really cool to think that the littlest thing can make a difference,” said Addie Berger. “It doesn’t matter what race or age, it really does bring people together. Just because we’re kids doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference.”
Like the group slogan states, “Hand in Hand, we can make a difference.”