My name is Jen Rubino and I am the 17-year-old founder of a nonprofit charitable organization called Cards for Hospitalized Kids. CFHK provides hope, joy and magic to ill kids across the United States.
Since being founded in 2011, more than 5,000 ill kids across the United States have received cards from us. My motivation for starting CFHK goes back to my own experience as a hospitalized kid.
When I was 11 years old, I began suffering from a chronic illness that plagued my life with surgeries, treatments, doctor visits and chronic pain. My condition took many things away from me and it gave me not just great physical pain, but emotional pain. There was one specific hospital stay in which I was very close to losing hope. During that hospital stay, receiving a card from a stranger helped me maintain hope and inspired me to start CFHK. CFHK started with a simple dream of giving hope and joy to ill kids, but it has turned into a national nonprofit organization that has helped thousands of kids and families across the United States. As the founder of CFHK, I am able to help families and kids who are facing the struggles and pain that I faced and continue to face.
Giving back to others through Cards for Hospitalized Kids was the first time I was able to regain some of the joy that my condition took away from me. Lifting others up allowed me to lift myself up as well and has helped me deal with my own personal struggles and it will be the same for anyone else who volunteers. We all have struggles, whether it is an eating disorder, a bully, problems at home or anything else and volunteering helps you deal with your own personal struggles by giving you a sense of purpose and by helping you find your path.
Volunteering is also a chance for people to unite and looks past their differences. When you’re volunteering and working towards a common goal, all classifications placed on people such as income, race and gender do not matter because everyone is working as one.
We only get one life to live and we need to make the best of it, and helping others involves making the most of the life we have. Helping others will help you, as well!
Note from Like a Boss: Thanks for the guest post, Jen, and for sharing your story! You are an inspiration to us all!!
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