Our sweet Agniya has an opportunity to apply for a trip to Washington, D.C. and participate in a leadership program. In order to apply, she had to create an essay answering the question:
One of the most important things for me is charity. After having met some new people in America, and, of course, spending a lot of time with my host family, I noticed that charity in the United States is one of the most important things to do. People help other people through giving them food, clothes, and money for basic things to survive. For example, my host family suggested for me to join them in packing a shoe box filled with toys for poor children in Africa, who need our help. It is such an easy thing for us to do, but at the same time it makes other people so happy. What I want to say is: I would love to learn more about donation programs and charity programs in America. In the future when I return to Russia, it could be so useful to share my experiences with other people. Without any doubts, Russian people want to help other people, but in my opinion, we do not have enough convenient ways to do it. If given the opportunity to learn the ways of American charity, I could help people in my country to more readily accept the concepts of selfless giving.
As I said before, to understand the roots of a country, we have to live in it. Looking deeper to the roots of selfless giving, I found out many reasons why people give to others. Living in a circle of Christian people, I can tell that Christians pay a lot of attention to charity. Since I am attending Christian School of York, I have a unique opportunity to have a Bible class. I did not grow up in a Christian circle, but my mother always told me that God will take care of me. Now, because of my school, I know more about God and His words through the Bible. Also, I knew before, and now know with the support of the Bible, that all good things in our lives that we do will come back to us in double. The foundation which could help me to open people’s hearts to such a good thing as charity could be based on the lessons learned in God’s word. When I will go back to Russia, I could introduce the Bible first in my school then in some other social places, giving people more reasons to help other people.
Another very important thing which can help Russian people be more open to the concepts of selfless giving is improved government support. For example: my host family donates money to two boys, one in Rwanda and one in Ecuador, and their donation goes toward the boys’ food, clothes, healthcare and schooling. The system of this kind of donation is very easy: you just send a regular amount to the organization who support these children. Moreover, my host family receives a tax benefit for making this donation. I think that it is great to help other people and also to get a small benefit from the government. This tax benefit helps people to make a commitment if they are not fully convinced about the advantages of a donation.
I believe that participation in the Civic Education Program can help me to know more ways to make charity more convenient and appealing for Russian people. I am eager to learn about the structure of American government which provides support to those who would like to give help to others through donations."