Be a Change For Children in Need
By Daniel Kwon
Despite the current decrease of volunteering opportunities due to the ongoing pandemic there are still many ways in which you can contribute to helping those in need. Founded in 1988 in India, Rainbow House focuses on spreading awareness upon the struggles and vulnerabilities exposed to children mainly due to parental incarceration and financial issues. Rainbow House assists those referred by other organizations such as the Department of Family and Children's Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to find individuals that are seeking guidance and care. Rainbow House operates to offer services in hope to restore and rebuild the lives of children and families. Through walkathon fundraisers, the Rainbow House program raises money to build “Rainbow Homes'' in India which provide shelter, food and other necessities to the children with desperate needs. As of now, there are reportedly 21 homes built by the Rainbow House organization in Hyderabad, India. In these homes, children are essentially rehabilitated through the provision of education, life skills, and social skills.
Recently on 5/28/22 a Rainbow House walkathon was held in which I was able to experience first hand as a volunteer. I, along with other volunteers, was responsible for contributing to donations and spreading awareness of the problem by physically participating in the walkathon. The event was held at 7270 Crescent Ave, Buena Park for the duration of 3 hours starting at 9:30 in the morning so everyone could enjoy the cool breeze. After happily chipping in donations for the program to the host of the event, all volunteers, which were composed primarily of students, began the walkathon. Initially, I was surprised by the area held for the walkathon. Although the area seemed a bit rundown with streets and buildings dirtier than the volunteers were used to, this was all an effort of trying to give the volunteers an idea of the living conditions for some children in an attempt to spread awareness of the situation. Through this, I thought the walkathon was a great opportunity to reflect on how fortunate some of us are to be provided with adequate living standards in contrast to others in need.
During the walkathon, many volunteer participants were enthusiastic about being able to spend time with friends while helping a good cause. We enjoyed the view of restaurants, buildings and even amusement parks during the walk which reduced stress built up from our classes and school. From my personal perspective, the walkathon was a really valuable time in which I got to know other volunteers and how they planned summer with a variety of activities to help others. The volunteers were excited when walking past an area designated as a street market because It was fun and interesting to examine the different unique goods being sold. Participating in the walkathon for Rainbow House was a unique experience as many individuals were able to feel embraced within the moment by straying away from their usual everyday routines and activities.
After my experiences with Rainbow House, I came to the realization that volunteering can genuinely be enjoyed. What stood out to me while volunteering was seeing how everyone was excited while volunteering despite being somewhat exhausted. The walkathon is an experience I would be willing to participate in again. In order to help and participate in the cause, I highly recommend partaking in upcoming events by Rainbow House, or any volunteering opportunity in general because volunteering not only benefits others, but can help you find passions and interests unique to you. Personally, after the event I reflected upon how the time spent was very valuable to the community and that individuals like me can make a change for others by simply having fun and volunteering. Rainbow House and other organizations as listed earlier in the article, are putting in a lot of effort in an attempt to achieve their desired goal of raising funds to directly benefit children and families in need. I hope that by working together, we can all help organizations like these on behalf of our communities’ safety and welfare.