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Feb. 11

A Teen Hero Brings the Gift of Water to the Developing World

Know a kid or teen making difference through community service? Nominate him or her today for a Hasbro Community Action Hero Award, brought to you by Hasbro Children’s Fund and generationOn. Today we hear from Carter Jimenez Jenkins, a 2013 awardee.

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Carter Jimenez Jenkins

Since receiving the Hasbro Community Action Hero Award, I have grown as a volunteer, as an activist and as a person. The support from Hasbro and generationOn has been nothing short of amazing.

For one, I had the chance to work with other service-minded youth in conjunction with the Variety Power of Youth Event  in Los Angeles last summer. In December, through the generationOn Be A Joy Maker initiative, I received 100 toys from Hasbro to donate to kids in need. I organized student volunteers and we held a toy drive and wrap party to benefit the children of deployed Marines. We delivered the toys during holiday party on a military base. 

Being named a Hasbro Community Action Hero has also benefited the charity I founded in 2010, Students For Safe Water, which aims to help end the world’s water crisis. Because of the award, I was able to garner even more support and donations. To date my organization has raised more than $62,000 – providing safe drinking water to more than 1,000 people and basic sanitation to more than 800 people in the developing world.

Last July and August, I traveled to Nicaragua to work on Students For Safe Water-funded projects. First I helped build a hand-washing station and latrines at Los Hornos School in Achuapa. Before then, the kids had nowhere to relieve themselves at school or to wash up afterwards. Now, the kids have restored dignity and improved health.  It is tremendously gratifying to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.  And, it was a gift to be able to come to the school bearing supplies, books and toys – also donated from Hasbro.

On that same trip, I went to Petaquilla for the inauguration of an electric pump water system that Students For Safe Water funded. It was an emotional moment as I cut the ribbon and turned on the tap that now brings safe water to 78 homes, helping nearly 400 people lead healthier lives. The leader of the village had tears in his eyes as he told me the tap was the realization of a 20-year dream.

Before I headed home, I had the opportunity to visit a dozen kids in El Sauce whom I first met in 2012. They had wanted to learn English and Students For Safe Water helped them by providing materials and a weekly instructor.  I spent three days with them – helping them to practice their English skills and deepening our connection.  We now Skype regularly. 

The most valuable lesson I will take from my association with the Hasbro Community Action Hero Award is that everyone – no matter how young – is capable of making a difference in the world.  When I speak to youth about service, I challenge them to find what they are passionate about and to do something, because they really do have the power to make change happen.

Do you know a young person who is doing great work? Nominate him or her to be a 2014 Hasbro Community Action Hero. The deadline is 5 p.m., Eastern, Feb. 25, 2014. Don’t wait – submit a nomination today!

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