Angel of the Month
Each month, The Angelrock Project will feature an Angel of the Month and an Angel Interview of the Month, interviews of inspirational people involved in grassroots volunteer efforts, exceptional humanitarian endeavors, manage small, local non-profits providing extraordinary services within their communities, and/or who provide a unique and life-saving service within a national non-profit organization. We hope that by reading their stories, you will be moved, inspired, and grateful for their tremendous efforts.
Interview with Maya, a young girl who encompasses a big heart and an even bigger desire to change the world in which she lives
Q: What is your name?
Q: How old are you?
A: As of November, I am 11 years old.
Q: What kind of charitable work are you involved in?
A: I crochet bracelets to raise money for charity.
Q: Who or what inspired you to start your business?
A: At first I wanted to start a business to earn some spending money, but then I read an article about a girl that makes earrings and clothes and sells them for charity. I liked that idea, so I decided to donate half of my earnings to charity.
Q: How did you learn to crochet bracelets?
A: I spent last summer in one of my favorite places in the world, Surprise Lake Camp, in Cold Spring, New York. A friend of mine, Nelly, taught me a few stitches and I've been crocheting ever since. I choose themes, like red, white and blue for the military soldiers overseas and different shades of pink for breast cancer.
Q: Why did you choose the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation as your breast cancer charity of choice?
A: Annie Hausmann, one of my first customers, bought 7 bracelets and donated fifty percent of the cost of the bracelets to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. When I read up about the foundation I was very excited about making a difference. My step-father is a scientist who is working on finding a cure for lung cancer, so I can understand how important finding a cure is.
Q: Why do you think that giving back is important?
A: Giving back makes me feel complete. At my camp I learned that it is our responsibility to contribute to making this world a better place. It is called Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). Those that have more must help those that have less. Also, it makes you feel whole, and warm, like hot chocolate in winter.
Q: Do you think that most children your age understand the importance of helping others? Please explain.
A: I believe that kids my age would do more to help others if they were frequently told about how important and how easily they can help others.
Q: What would you say to other children to encourage them to give back?
A: Standing near the ocean, you can feel how little your worries are compared to people with serious problems. Try to think about families and children who are hungry, sick or poor.
Q: Who is your hero and why?
A: Amelia Earhart, I would have to say. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She said that being a passenger made her feel like "baggage." She wanted to be a pilot and she really chased her dreams. I hope to become independent and a free spirit like she was.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I am hoping to be a writer. If I were to follow my dream, I would write a great novel. For now I want to become a journalist, a slightly more practical dream.
Q: Do you think that you will always serve in some capacity as you grow older?
A: Yes, I do believe I will serve as a teenager and into adulthood. Giving makes me feel good about myself.
Q: Are there any other charities that you support or would like to support in the future?
A: My family bought backpacks and school supplies for children in Darfur. We also helped host holiday meals for the elderly and disabled and sponsored women in Rwanda who were starting small businesses to support themselves and their children.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would you like to do?
A: I love to learn about history, other cultures and foreign languages. I have traveled to Greece, Egypt, Israel, France, Spain and many parts of the U.S. My dream destinations for now are Italy and the Galapagos Islands. I'm so amazed that the animals in the Galapagos Islands have no predators, making a care-free lifestyle. One day I hope to go on safari in Africa.
Q: Please tell me something about yourself that I have not already asked.
A: I have been dancing and playing the guitar for more than three years. I mostly like to listen to classic rock and heavy metal. My favorite bands are Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Pink Floyd.
I am also fascinated by science and math. I love spending time with my family and friends, but often find myself reading anywhere and everywhere. I am often tempted to step inside some of the characters that I read about. I recommend the following books: Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, My Side of the Mountain, Faerie Wars Chronicles, Harry Potter Series, and The Diary of Anne Frank.
Editors Note: Since this interview was conducted, Maya cut her hair and donated it to the non-profit organization Locks of Love. When asked about her gift, she indicated that she does not understand the big deal, and replied "...it's just hair, it grows back."