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Over 46 million people were affected and another 100,000 were buried alive in May12, 2008 when an earthquake hit Wenchuan County in China. Although I felt sorry for the victims, the magnitude of the catastrophe only hit me when I personally witnessed the effects in my visit to China. I could not imagine that it was several months after the deadly event and yet people were still suffering.
While on the visit, my perception was irreversibly transformed when I met a young girl of 12 years sitting on a small rock, drenched in tears after the earthquake rendered her homeless. The indiscriminately cruel catastrophe had obliterated her entire family. Leaving her orphaned and surrounded by debris and shells of houses. It was a horrendous sight that was not doubt heart rending. No words could suffice to comfort the destitute and insecure girl. To make ends meet, she was compelled to do menial and demeaning jobs that were arduous and overwhelming for a frail 12 year old girl. Putting myself in her shoes was perturbing since I am still dependant on my parents at my age.
The girl invoked the development of an irresistible conviction and zest of giving precedence to assisting such victims. Her deplorable living condition blotted out the ignorance and provoked pragmatism instead of the sorrow the populace has on such victims. Her determination gave me a challenge raise money address her plight.
I made raising money for the girl the nexus of my life. When I returned home, I kept contact with her through email and voice calls. Initially, I could also make savings I could raise about 15 dollars at the end of the month which was meager. I unsuccessfully looked for a job as a baby sitter since the market was flooded with babysitters. It was then that I decided to use my piano-playing skill to make money through tutoring others for cash.
I unsuccessfully attempted to catch people’s attention when flyers using beautiful colors that could attract the eyes community members and placed them in the mail box since very few people looked at the community mail box. After some research I put my advertisements near traffic lights and intersections because most pedestrians and motorists would see. This way, I managed to get hired for $5 dollars per hour and I raised $40 dollars per week. I decided to make chocolate cakes as free samples for kids in my piano classes after the summer job ended. This helped me attract quite a number of them.
In the long run, the emails, calls and fiscal support I gave to the girl gave her the encouragement to work had and complete her lower education on time. She was later accepted by one of the famous middle schools in Wenchuan County. It is gratifying give hope, strength faith and resilience to a soul that was on the brink of giving up. It transformed my character in an unfathomable way.