Post by Emily Carisch
Imagine, for a moment, you’re missing one of your legs. Maybe you developed a severe infection from a wound or wandered onto a landmine left behind by your country’s civil war. Whatever the case, your leg had to be amputated in order to save your life. Now, if you’re lucky, you have an old set of crutches to help you get around. You can’t work easily, and if you don’t have family to support you, it’s not long before you end up on the streets, begging and hobbling from place to place in search of dinner and a place to sleep. This has become your life. Dirty, ragged and hopeless.
Okay. You can stop imagining now and escape this depressing scene. Lucky you, because hundreds of thousands of people can’t escape it. This is their reality. Our family saw this situation too often during our travels, especially in Cambodia, where a long war and an oppressive government left land mines strewn across the countryside. Every day we saw someone struggling to survive with a rickety cart or a pair of crutches patched together with scrap wood.
A few weeks after I started school here, I heard announcements and saw posters about joining the Student Council. I was brand new at Summit Middle School and didn’t know many people yet, but I found my way into an interview and was accepted as a Student Council member. Fast forward about a year, and now I’m in the 7th grade. I’ve been in Student Council for a year, made some amazing friends and had too many new, marvelous experiences to count. Then one day our faculty sponsor for Student Council slapped a new idea onto the table during one of our meetings. One that spoke to my heart.
Limbs International is an organization that works to create sustainable prosthetic legs for a low price and distribute them to impoverished countries around the world. Our team of students watched a video from the web site.
We learned about Socktober, an month-long event supporting LIMBS International, where school students sell socks. For every 72 packs sold, a sustainable prosthetic leg can be manufactured and sent to someone in the world who needs it. It’s like a school fundraiser, except instead of keeping the money we give it to a good cause, and instead of selling candy bars or magazines or cookie dough, we sell funky fashion for your feet.
Student Council took up this project, and I volunteered to take on a leading role. I made our sales webpage, organized advertising and got to be on our local news channel to talk about our efforts. The council’s goal was to raise the funds to send legs to two people. We only had October to sell, and things weren’t looking too good at first. Then Limbs International extended the selling period and we rocketed past our goal, selling enough to buy more than two prosthetic limbs.
Overall, it was a really fun, educational experience, and I loved knowing we were helping to change someone’s life. I highly recommend this fundraising event for all schools. We learned that the two people receiving limbs from our efforts were named Desta and Elijah. We worked hard on this project, and then got to see the direct impact it made in a specific individual’s life. Next October, you can be sure I’ll be hitting all of you up to buy socks again!