theParklander

Caring Girl Fights For Children
By Maira Souza / June & July 2012

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Samantha Fleisher of Parkland was chosen as a scholarship recipient for Save the Children in the 10th edition of the Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill. She went to the U.S. capital, where she had the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of being the voice for children around the world, along with kids from all over the country.

This year, the advocates focused on nutrition -- and malnutrition. Alarming numbers provided during the event revealed that more than 23 million kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Also, every hour, 300 children needlessly die because of malnutrition around the world.

During the two-day event, Sami -- as her family and friends call her -- took part in meetings and activities, which included learning how to use social media as tools to help the non-profit organization that works in more than 120 nations. The participants used Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, telling the online audience possible ways to help Save the Children. They also had a chance to talk to members of Congress about how they felt and the urgency of making good decisions to help children.
It was through the organization HandsOn Broward that Sami, a freshman at Stoneman Douglas High, became a volunteer. She has been involved in community service in many ways, from helping in homeless shelters to playing tennis for fundraising. As a result of her outstanding dedication, she was chosen among all volunteers from HandsOn Broward to be one of the representatives of Save the Children on Capitol Hill.

Sami says that being a volunteer makes her happy because she gets to help others, meet new people, share life stories, and take care of her community. When chosen to be a voice for children, Sami got excited, for she expected to become familiar with Save the Children's projects and learn in depth what supporting a cause was about. After being part of these special days where she was able to learn so much, she feels more knowledgeable and ready for new challenges.

The girl who dreams of being a teacher is so young and already so passionate. Sami is certainly a great example for teens that need to get off the couch and do some good. She suggests many ways to help -- supporting a child, donating food, participating in an event, or simply making a call. Take action and call or e-mail senators and congressional representatives, explaining that you don't want the new federal budget to cut food stamps and school lunch programs because lunch at school may be the only nutritious meal some kids will get all day.

Each and every child deserves to live a healthy and happy life, to live free from fear and hunger, to have a chance to dream and have good childhood memories once they become adults. Sami Fleisher and many other volunteers worldwide are doing their part.

To donate, learn more or become a volunteer, visit the SaveTheChildren.org or HandsOnBroward.org.




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