The Yuda Bands Project started in 2008. Since then, we met brilliant, extraordinary service-oriented youth volunteers. Looking back, we found these young people have one thing in common. All of them are unselfish. They always seem to put others first. These teenagers are generous with their time, humble and always find ways to give back.
Claire Smith had the same attitude. That’s why when Claire joined the Yuda Bands Project, we were glad to have her on board.
YUDA BANDS PROJECT: EMPOWERING UNSELFISH, MOTIVATED LEADERS
Claire Smith is a senior student at Tuscarora High School. She is involved in many clubs. She is a Key Club member, a Field Hockey Varsity Player, and the Science National Honor Society treasurer. Despite her numerous school activities, she still finds time to give back.
“One of my favorite roles that I have undertaken is coaching. I coached a fifth-grade Boys Recreation Basketball Team last year and a fourth-grade Girls Team this year,” Claire said.
“Coaching and community service is one of the most rewarding things that I do,” she added.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS TOOLS FOR CHANGE
We, as a generation, are more connected than ever. Through the internet, we can access information anytime, anywhere. Through social media, we can communicate with our friends who are halfway around the world.
That’s why we encourage our volunteers to use social media. We reach more people and can raise awareness faster. It’s also an effective way of promotion because that’s how Claire first heard about the Yuda Bands Project.
“I heard about the Yuda Bands Project from a friend at another school in the county….” she said
“….I saw my friend tweet about her Yuda Bands Project,” she continued.
After reading the tweet, she looked it up on the internet. She instantly fell in love with the Yuda Bands organization. She even spoke about it in her campaign speech when she ran for the Science National Honor Society treasurer position in 2016.
“INSTEAD OF PREACHING ABOUT THIS INDIFFERENCE, I CHOSE TO BRING THE YUDA BANDS PROJECT TO MY SCHOOL…”
Claire recognizes how fortunate she is. She lives in a nice community, has friends, and parents that love and support her. She can go to school, and endless opportunities await her.
“I did absolutely nothing to be born where I was and into a family like my own. I was lucky. People in third world countries, also, did nothing to be born into their situation. However, they were not as lucky,” Claire said.
In other countries, kids can’t afford school. They must work to support their families. When they grow up, they will have children who will do the same. All of them stuck in an endless cycle of poverty. Claire believes will end this cycle.
“Education is more than handing somebody some money and telling them to build a better life….
….It is giving them the tools they need to build that life,” Claire said.
Claire wanted to know more about Yuda Bands. She visited the website and learned more about the organization.
“I researched about Yuda Bands, which shed light on the situation of the students in the program. I decided there was no way I would turn down this opportunity.”
RAISING AWARENESS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Claire was eager to start the Yuda Bands Project. She knew that joining the project would be a proactive way to change somebody’s life, their children’s life and so on.
Claire sold Yuda Bands alongside the Tuscarora Science National Honor Society. They chose to sponsor Ruvimbo, an 8th-grade student from Zimbabwe.
The club has been talking about the Yuda Bands Project since September. But they started selling on November 30, 2016. They ordered 400 Bands to start. Once it arrived Claire distributed it to 36 members. The members sold the bands in their school and around the community.
Social media was a big part of their promotion. Claire posted a picture of Yuda Bands on her social media. She encouraged customers to do the same. After a while, many people asked how to get one.
“THE BANDS TRULY SELL THEMSELVES…”
The Yuda Bands Project caught on quick. After the first week, the 400 she first ordered almost ran out.
“The bands truly sell themselves. On the first day of sales, I was sitting in the hallway with a swarm of people around me digging through the bands trying to find specific ones.”
A week still remained in their schedule. That’s why she ordered 400 more Yuda Bands. In total, Claire was then responsible for 800 Yuda Bands. This responsibility scared Claire.
“The fact that I was responsible for 800 bands scared me,” Claire told us.
“The hardest part was keeping track of them all,” she continued.
Claire only had two goals in those two weeks: keep track of every band and fund Ruvimbo’s full education. These goals kept her focused and motivated.
ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL YUDA BANDS PROJECT IN 2016…
The results of Claire’s dedication was astounding. She organized one of the successful Yuda Bands Project in 2016. She sold 743 Yuda Bands in two weeks.
“It was not me who sold 743 bands in two weeks. It was Science National Honor Society, as well as every single person who purchased a band. If it were not for them, none of it would have been possible,” Claire said.
Thanks to Claire Smith, the Science National Honor Society, and everyone in their community, the Yuda Bands Project in Tuscarora High School sponsored five kids.
They completed the scholarships for Ruvimbo Madamombe, Jabu Moyo, Alex Leonel Pérez Tomás, and contributed to Marco Paredes’ scholarship.
“BE AGGRESSIVE! YOU HAVE ONLY TWO WEEKS TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE”
Phillip Whiting, Claire’s Project Manager, praised her work ethic, effort, and attitude.
“Claire is an extremely motivated person. She has run one of the most successful Yuda Bands projects this school year. She was determined to sell so many bands so she could maximize her impact for good,” Phillip said.
Claire admitted being incredibly annoying in those two weeks. Her friends even claimed that she didn’t talk about anything else except Yuda Bands. She did for a reason.
Claire became “annoying” so people won’t forget about the cause. She needed everyone to keep their eyes on the prize. She wanted people to remember they’re doing it for Ruvimbo — her education, her parents, and her future.
“You have just two weeks to change somebody’s life, so you better be aggressive,” Claire said.
YUDA BANDS PROJECT: CHANGING THE LIVES OF VOLUNTEERS AND SPONSORED STUDENTS
Claire Smith’s life undoubtedly changed after joining the project. It showed her there are many ways to help. She saw a world she didn’t know even existed before. Lastly, she now knows the difficulties of children living in 3rd world countries.
After the Yuda Bands Project, Claire set a new goal for herself. When she grows up, she will actively do everything she can to make the world a better place for children like Ruvimba.
When you sponsor a student in the Yuda Bands Project, you’ll not only change their life. You’ll also change the life of their family, relatives, and community. Touching one life will create a ripple effect that will affect dozens, if not hundreds, of people.
There are many students like Ruvimba. They want to learn, help their families and make their dreams come true. You can support them today.
Be part of the Yuda Bands movement. Start your project and sponsor students like what Claire did.