“HOBY has given me the courage to serve others before myself.”
In the summer of 2018, Sarah Laible, who attended the HOBY Pennsylvania Central seminar in 2017, volunteered in Madagascar with Operation Christmas Child. Sarah writes, “Last summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel with Operation Christmas Child to give less fortunate girls and boys the only gift they might ever receive. I have helped run shoebox drives since 2010 and was selected through a nationwide search to serve on a team of 21. It is amazing to see the joy on the children’s faces when you give them something they never thought they would ever have, like school supplies, toys, or hygiene products.” Sarah raised over $6,500 to cover her own travel expenses and donated the rest to OCC. Throughout her stay, she helped deliver donations to over 1,000 boys and girls.
Sarah is also the founder of the nonprofit Kids Gone M.A.D. (Make a Difference), which strives to show the importance and positive impact of volunteerism and dedication. Sarah explains, “I came to see this community need when I realized that this world is growing increasingly selfish. This led me to start Kids Gone M.A.D. which encourages youth involvement in their communities.” By hosting two 5Ks, Sarah helped raise over $2,400 and has given back to 18 community-based organizations. She explains, “Because of HOBY, I learned how to effectively lead a team of people to accomplish a goal. This skillset was extremely helpful when planning for the 2nd Annual Go M.A.D. 5K. I needed to know how to coordinate my volunteers. My time at HOBY helped me to delegate responsibilities. Whether they were helping with concessions, registration, timing, results, logistics, or awards, I trained and led the team throughout this important event.”
In addition, as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and as President of her school’s Red Cross Club, Sarah coordinated 8 blood drives and helped raise $4,000 in scholarships for high school students. Jamie Brazenec, Donor Recruitment Representative of the American Red Cross, who worked closely with Sarah writes, “Sarah’s dedication was evident by her organized and meticulously planned drives. Sarah was able to handle the whole day of operations, including overcoming the obstacles that can occur in the moment like changing venues when a Blood Mobile breaks down, adapting to losing electricity during a drive and trying to find new donors when the schedule is full to meet and exceed her goals. I could tell by her interaction with her peers that Sarah is well respected, creating a positive and inspiring atmosphere that encourages everyone to participate.”
As Student Council President, Sarah has hosted many events that have raised funds for a local family impacted by Hurricane Harvey, whose mother also has brain cancer. She’s assisted with the election polls, the Tim Tebow Prom, Vacation Bible School, AWANA bible club, the Miss Amy Live Life Invitational to raise money for esophageal cancer, and her community cantata.
Sarah writes, “HOBY has given me the courage to serve others before myself. I must make sacrifices in order to help others. Attending HOBY was a refreshing way to meet others around my area who share some of the same passions that I have. It was awesome to see the different perspectives on how different students make a difference by leading in their own communities. There were so many different activities and volunteer organizations that were represented by the students who attended HOBY. Because of my inspiration from HOBY, I was able to make a difference in other people’s lives by leading a team to serve and give back to the community.”