Guest blogger, Jordyn Berk, shares how she became involved with CHOC Children’s through her organization, Chop for Charity. This amazing young woman has raised thousands of dollars for CHOC, creating lasting memories and learning about her true potential along the way.
I was twelve years old when I decided that I wanted to make a difference. At the time, I was a black belt in karate and wanted to show that having achieved that rank meant more than training in the art. Board breaking had always been one of my favorite aspects of karate. The pure excitement and self-assurance I feel every time my hand slices through a piece of wood is indescribable, and I wanted to share that feeling with others.
My grandfather has Type 1 diabetes and although I am not diabetic, the disease has always had a presence in my family. CHOC had always stood out in my mind, and when I decided to hold a fundraiser for a charity, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) was the other obvious beneficiary.
My original idea behind Chop for Charity was to combine my interest in karate with helping sick kids in my community. At Chop for Charity, individuals paid an entrance fee to break a board with the help of an experienced instructor and watch board-breaking demonstrations. The event also included a raffle and silent auction with prizes donated by local businesses. The website, www.chopforcharity.com, was an important asset to fundraising.
Chop for Charity impacted who I am in more ways than I could have ever dreamed possible. Planning the event taught me to be responsible, organized, and efficient. Five years ago, I did not know what to expect with the first annual Chop for Charity. I will never forget the moment my brother ran up to me near the end of the event to tell me we had raised over two thousand dollars. At the time, that seemed like a huge number and I could not contain my excitement.
The next year, I hesitated before setting a goal because I was afraid of failure, but one of my mentors convinced me that I could never reach higher if I let my fear of falling short stop me. Each year, my goals have grown and I have exceeded them. To date, Chop for Charity has raised over $50,000 for CHOC and JDRF, but more than that, it taught me to be unafraid to let myself feel vulnerable in order to succeed.
Taking the initiative and founding Chop for Charity taught me leadership and has led to amazing opportunities. I toured CHOC in the summer of 2009 and was fascinated by the doctors I met and conversations we shared. In addition to Chop for Charity, I have since volunteered at various JDRF events.
Whenever I am asked about Chop for Charity, I give the same response. Chop for Charity was the best, most fulfilling experience of my life. I absolutely loved putting in all the hours each year planning the event, and I loved when people were excited to participate and spread the giving spirit.
To find out how you can help support CHOC, please click here: http://www.choc.org/giving/
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