Helping Change the World at 14

Today’s blogpost is from one of our monthly donors, known as Community:Builders. Jake Korman isn’t just any ordinary monthly donor; he is a 14-year-old freshman in highschool who doesn’t have a job. We are excited for you to hear about Jake’s passion for Africa and lasting change!

Hi, my name is Jake Korman and I am 14. I live in Seattle, Wash., and am in ninth grade. I have two younger siblings. I play tennis and enjoy graphic designing. Some of my favorite subjects in school are English and Math.

The thing I am most passionate for in life is helping people. I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to maximize their full potential. For example, in many African countries, children aren’t able to go to school because their families cannot afford it. I am very fortunate to be able to go to school and have essential needs in life like clean water. One of my goals in life is to help more people go to school and stay away from sickness, so they can maximize their full potential.

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When I recently visited Africa, I learned that the children in Africa are so grateful for everything they receive. On our safari, many children who were watching after their family’s cattle would run up to our Jeep. We would give them lollipops, pictures of our family, coloring books, water, apples, etc. They were so grateful for something as small as a lollipop. When I think about it—I’m not going to lie—I love lollipops; but when I get one, I am not necessarily grateful for it. The children there had huge smiles on their faces and would call the other children to get in on the action. This experience really made me want to help these people even more, because no matter what these people need, they want to share with each other.

I donate to Blood:Water because I feel like it would be selfish of me to hoard the money I make while I am given all of these great opportunities by my family. I don’t have a job, but when I make money from doing work around the neighborhood, I feel passionate about giving it toward life change through Blood:Water. When I give $30 a month, I am helping out people in huge ways. Here, $30 could buy you a T-shirt, but in Africa, $30 goes a long way! The money that I give to Blood:Water often is put toward clean water, and chances are, I have saved someone’s life over the past year because of a filter that I bought for a community.

Recently, I wrote an essay about the song “Hall of Fame” by The Script because it really meant something to me. While writing this essay, I had time to think about why I have helped the people of Africa and how it has impacted me as a person. I have learned that being a monthly donor isn’t just a commitment to give money to a good cause; it is an opportunity to be a partner with our neighbors in Africa. No matter what you believe in, someone put us where we are for a reason, and I am finding that one of the things I need to do in life is help these people who need me.

My hope is that the money I give to Blood:Water is changes someone’s life. One of my goals in life is to help change the world. Now, changing the world probably means something to you that is nothing like what I am thinking of. Even though changing the world is a huge goal, it can be broken down into something that just requires commitment. If I can save someone’s life by giving them clean water, and they become successful in life, I have changed someone’s life. As that water filter that I contributed to buying helps a community survive, I have changed a community. If I influence you to become a monthly donor, we will end up changing a nation.

Bono has said, “As rock star, I have two instincts. I want to have fun and I want to change the world. And I have a chance to do both.”

This quote means something to me because he was given an opportunity. On top of changing someone’s life, I want to give them an opportunity to do what they want to do in life. One of the things I want my money and ideas to contribute to is a part of Blood:Water that really works with someone to change their life. Blood:Water provides a basic human need—clean water, but I want to help provide opportunities for someone to lead Africa out of poverty. I alone won’t be able to do this. I’m 14. I want my money to fund ideas that will empower people in Africa to lead each other. I want my ideas, more importantly, to help me change the world.