Nina Quirk, a 16-year-old student at The Hockaday School in Dallas, shares her thoughts on how she raised thousands for Children’s through playing in the Children Helping Children Junior Singles Tennis Tournament.
I participated in my first Children Helping Children Junior Singles Tennis Tournament at age 11. I remember how I thought the idea of helping children and doing something I love seemed like a pretty sweet deal.
At the kick-off event the night before the tournament, I received a medical wristband with a child’s name on it and the particular battle this child was facing. I wore this wristband for the entire tournament and realized I was playing for much more than winning a tennis tournament; I was playing in honor of Adrian. I made it to the finals that year and came in second place. The honor was great, but when I came home and put that wristband on my desk, I knew that wasn’t the most important part of the tournament. I raised $256 that year and instantly decided that I was going to come back the next year and try to raise more.
I am now 16 and have been playing this tournament for the last five years. With the support and loyalty of family and friends, I have been able to raise more than $16,000 to date for Children’s Medical Center.
This year, in addition to my usual fundraising efforts, I decided that fundraising is something that can be accomplished in many ways. I was passionate about doing something that involved my friends and my school.
I decided to start a club at The Hockaday School that I named: “Pocket Full of Daisies.” I recruited friends at our annual club fair and made a goal of having at least one clothing re-sale drive per year to benefit Children’s. The club met and collected gently used clothing, toys and other children’s items to be organized and sold at the beginning of the summer. We managed to raise $630 on one very HOT day! I am proud of this club and hope to leave a legacy at my school for others to continue long after I graduate.
Another simple effort I made this year was to collect all of the spare change in my home during the year – $170! This made me realize it doesn’t take much effort to make a difference. I know that Children’s is grateful for my efforts and it makes me feel good to give back.
In my free time, I also volunteer in one of the playroom at Children’s. It’s rewarding for me to meet and spend time with these precious children. I enjoy playing with them, doing craft activities or simply talking with them.
I’m looking forward to the 2010 tournament and receiving my wristband. I will wear it with pride, knowing that I have contributed in some way to making life better for children who are facing medical challenges.