Girls for Change

How can you make a big difference with just a little spare change?
This question inspired a group of girls to create a not-for-profit they called “Girls for Change,” hoping to change the lives of women around the world.

They were founded by eight Naperville North students last year. The girls got their name from their first fundraiser, which involved placing jars around the Naperville community seeking pocket change.

After six weeks the girls collected more than six-hundred dollars in the jars.

The money raised is donated to a variety of global women’s programs for those in developing countries.

Some of the groups include microfinance projects in Kenya, vocational training for women in Pakistan, and a maternity hospital in Somalia.

“We focus on women and girls,” said Kaci Karlsson, a junior at Naperville North High School and a new member in “Girls for Change.” “Women in the household are more likely to use money for their family rather than men.”

The group’s most recent fundraiser, a bake sale at Anderson’s Bookshop, collected over seven-hundred dollars.

According to the group’s adult leader, Julie Culver, the girls organize the fundraisers themselves.

“They handle all of the concepts that involve contacting the community and promoting the events and raising money,” said Culver.

Kate Singer, a senior at Naperville North High School, was one of the group’s original eight members. She believes determining what organizations to fund is a collective decision.

“We pick certain groups to fund for because we think they deserve to have our money. We get opinions from others and factor those in,” said Singer.

Lyndsey Field, one of the group’s newest members, says it can take five months to prepare for these events, but it’s worth every penny.

“You don’t realize how lucky you are until you start helping people out in different countries. We go to school every day and we complain about it but don’t know how lucky we are,” said Field. “It’s really nice to learn that.”

Because of their success the group was honored with the “You Make a Difference Award,” an accolade given by the Naperville North High School faculty this past fall. Some of the girls are even considering taking what they learned from the group and using it in college as an active volunteer next year.

“I definitely want to continue with charities in college next year,” said Adrienne Jamieson, a senior at Naperville North and one of the original eight girls in the group. “It definitely made me think about volunteering next year.”
The girls are looking to expand their membership to Naperville Central High School next year. Regardless of who is in the group, the girls will always have the same goal: help generate a little change.

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