By Sarah Gordon, PLF Advocate
Next month, I am traveling with my family to Cambodia for what started out as simply a vacation. When I learned we would be staying at a B&B run by Ponheary Ly, I became interested in her foundation and the work it does. At first I thought that meeting her would just be an inspiring glimpse of what someone incredible was doing to change lives. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I could take action, in my own small way, to change the lives of girls like me.
I started to think about what Ponheary was doing for children–and realized that her efforts could be supporting me, had I been born under different circumstances. I realize that but for a twist of fate, I could be one of those girls, and it made me feel compelled to do something to help.
Recognizing just how remarkable the work that the Ponheary Ly Foundation was doing, I wanted to participate by raising awareness and funds in my own community. I wrote a letter to friends and family, outlining the adversity that girls living in Cambodia face, what the Ponheary Ly Foundation does about it, why it matters to me and why it should matter to them. I sent the letter, asking for small donations to deliver to Ms. Ly upon my arrival in Siem Reap. I had hoped to raise a couple hundred dollars, perhaps, to make a small impact and partly fund a year of education for one girl. But my friends’ and family’s response astounded me. Combining the letter drive with two bake sales that I held at my high school and former middle school, I am now at about $3600, enough to support three high school girls, just like me, through three years of school.
There are many times in life when one is put in situations over which it seems one has no control. What I have found out through my recent fundraising for the Ponheary Ly Foundation is that the opportunity to change a life is not one of them. Even the smallest action, the smallest gesture, can reap benefits beyond your wildest dreams and help change lives. The world is waiting for you: what are you waiting for?
Here’s the media Sarah created to get the word out about PLF: