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From Napa to Nepal

From Napa to Nepal
All it takes is following through with your ideas and anything is possible.

Even though the communities of Napa and Nepal are miles apart in distance, the connection four high school students felt with victims of the Nepal earthquake couldn’t have been closer. Amidst their busy schedules, finding a way to provide relief for those affected by the Nepal Earthquake was still one of their top priorities.

The deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in late April 2015 devastated cities and killed thousands. While the American Red Cross committed $1,000,000 to provide emergency humanitarian disaster assistance after the destructive earthquake, students Sarah Lippman, Katelyn Carleton, and Abby Richards-Hatton of Napa High School and Skylar Lines of Vintage High School realized that they could also step up to make a difference, even hundreds of thousands of miles away.

This event was particularly important to Sarah Lippman, as she traveled to Nepal in the past--and is still in touch with trekking guides Padam and Bijay from her trip. Unfortunately, those guides were affected by the earthquake themselves. Bijay lost his entire home after the first earthquake, and Padam experienced heavy damage to his home after the second earthquake. In many ways, the four students felt a strong connection to those in Nepal, as the Napa community was also hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in August 2014, and a 4.1 magnitude earthquake May 2015.

“The personal experience made what was happening in Nepal even more real to us,” said Sarah.

Despite their hectic weeks before AP testing, the four students reached out to local store Browns Valley Market, to organize a bake sale. In preparation for the event they baked cookies, blondies, rice crispies, and brownies the day before the big sale. Additionally, signs advertising the cause were also put together. Since the bake sale was donation-based, many people contributed anywhere from one to twenty-five dollars for the baked goods.

The bake sale turned out to be a huge success, as everything was sold out in four hours--compared to the six hours they allocated for that day. The girls aimed to raise $200 - $300, but ended up with fundraising over $900 for the Red Cross.

One of the most challenging parts of this project was the baking itself, since they were tight on time with upcoming school deadlines. While it was time consuming, it was still a fun experience for the girls. The most rewarding aspect of the event was the fact that four high school girls alone could impact the Nepal community in some way.

“It was very rewarding to have our teachers support us by bringing baked goods to our sale, because it shows that they support us and want us to succeed,” Sarah stated.

As these students have demonstrated, it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the world. Even a small bake sale was able to generate substantial funds for earthquake relief, and the high school students hope to inspire others by taking initiative to lend a helping hand.

“The advice I would give is that people can do anything and everything to help people from their community to people across the globe,” Sarah said. “All it takes is following through with your ideas and anything is possible.”

As for now, the four girls plan to become more involved with the American Red Cross this summer after their upcoming service trip to Nicaragua. They also aim to organize Red Cross clubs at their respective schools in the near future.