“I do not have to wait until I am an adult to make a difference.”
These words came from 15-year-old Taylor Pratte of Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania. Taylor and her family belong to LCBC Church, which partners with Food for the Hungry (FH) to provide community development in Haiti.
Five years ago, Taylor’s heart was moved to help people living in poverty around the world. She began working with her youth group to raise money and spread awareness. After a month-long campaign with the youth group, Taylor felt that God had more to do through her.
“The deathly statistics of hunger in third-world countries were forever on my heart and the pictures were seared in my mind,” she said.
Along with a few friends, Taylor started a non-profit organization named Fore Change.
“Fore Change started as a group of kids that combined their love for golf and passion to make a difference in hopes to end world hunger through sustainable change; thus the name Fore Change,” Taylor explained.
Impacting the World from Home to Haiti
Taylor’s fundraisers quickly expanded outside of golf events. Fore Change now holds fundraisers and drives throughout the year. They invite golf courses and other organizations to host benefit events and donate a percentage of proceeds to Fore Change.
Their support of FH is invested in a Haitian region called Bellevue La Montagne, where LCBC Church is partnering to end poverty. Through partnership with churches, leaders and families in the region, FH equips communities to continue their own development without outside assistance within the next several years.
“We like the exponential impact on how Food for the Hungry trains the people and the fact that there is education embedded, with the belief that they are capable and will not need to rely on others,” Taylor said. She added, “Food for the Hungry gives them a hand up, not a handout.”
Fore Change is also involved in their local community. They have built gardens for Haven Home for girls and helped with fall clean-up for a cancer patient’s family. And they’ve collected items for food pantries, homeless veterans, and more.
The Lessons of Generosity
The kids who participate in Fore Change campaigns have discovered an important lesson of generosity: those who give receive blessings themselves.
“Fore Change ended up educating and impacting me,” commented Isobel Smith. “I learned about kindness, generosity, lending a helping hand and the importance of recognizing small, first world problems.”
Another participant, Katie Hill, remarked, “Through this I am learning and understanding that life is not all about me. This organization is not only helping those in Haiti, but it is also shaping me into a better person.”
Taylor has also learned these lessons for herself. “I realized that I do not have to wait until I am an adult to make a difference,” she said. “Kids can make a difference everyday for God. It is the little things on a daily basis that make the big things happen.”
When asked what advice she would give to other kids who want to make a difference, Taylor said, “No matter your age or resources, you can make a difference. It may feel like what you are doing isn’t a lot, but it is! Even the smallest things change the world. As Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”