Following the Hurricanes that ravaged Florida during 2005, Benjamin Au Yang, who is the youngest writer for the News-Sun launched “Operation Baby” and motivated students, parents and faculty members to donate supplies for needy children affected by the hurricanes. The response was great, much to the astonishment of the Director of United Way, Suzie Bishop to whom the supplies were presented for distribution.
Benjamin’s work does not stop there. In November, in Keeping with Thanksgiving, he launched “Operation Gratitude,” where students were asked to design cards, which were sent to those who were instrumental in assisting during the hurricanes. Teachers and non-academic staff at Park Elementary were given flowers, gifts of tea and candles. He has now motivated the community and his classmates to donate funds to UNICEF for the tsunami relief effort. Response to this young man’s recruitment for service has been tremendous.
Due to the action initiated by Benjamin scores of children in Avon Park received much needed supplies. The participating students felt good about themselves. Academic and non-academic members of staff were uplifted by the generosity displayed. FEMA was among the agencies to have received thank-you cards from the students at Park Elementary. They responded by saying how grateful they were to the students for showing gratitude for what is often a thankless job.
Benjamin’s actions are tremendous and have affected the community; however, the fact that he is only 10 years old is awesome. He serves others with innovative ideas while also remaining a straight “A” student. At such a young age this youth is able to motivate others to think not only of themselves, but others as well. His ability and willingness to think not only of himself but also of the well being of others and his ability to love and serve others has helped him embark on and complete three successful projects to date. He looks forward to continuing his service projects and continuing to get more in the community involved.