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WZM Award for Compassion


WZM Award #6 Presented on June 4, 2007 to Valerie Andrews of Frazier Mountain High School in Frazier Park, CA.

Award given to Valerie by friend of the Jizo Peace Center,
Sister Moutique Ayodele El.









Essay by Valerie Andrews

Compassion for the World

Throughout my life, especially in recent years,
I have witnessed and been a part of countless acts of
compassion. With wars, shootings, crime, and poverty
in an overwhelming abundance, these acts of
kindness always warm my heart and remind me of how
wonderful the world can be.

During my sophomore year in high school, I suffered
from terrible migraines. At one point they got so
bad that I was eventually placed in the Pediatric
Intensive Care Unit at Tarzana-Encino Medical Center
for 6 days. I would not have been able to make it
through this trying event in my life if it were not
for the love and support of my family, friends,
teachers, and school-mates.

Today, after many doctor visits and medications I am
thankfully doing much better. Through that time
members of my church that I had never met before, took
time out of their own lives to pray with me.
It was at this point when I met my friend Jenn. Both
last year and this year Jenn has shown me what it is
to be a truly unselfish person. She has raised (over
both years) a total of over $7,000 for families in
Uganda, Africa. She also volunteers for two weeks on
a Medical Team providing care to the families. I
cannot wait until a time comes where I am able to go
with her on one of these trips. However, this year
one of my fellow classmates, Natalie, raised enough
money to go on the trip with Jenn. Natalie will be
on a construction team, where she will be building
houses and schools for the communities. One wonderful
thing that I have witnessed is the amazing amount of
support that Natalie has received from the other
students at my high school. The students at my high
school have over the years shown me how much heart
they posses for the world. Not only every year are
there mass donations for the Toys for Tots Drive that
we sponsor, but during Katrina kids were more than happy to bring in any items that would help the victims of the hurricane.

Also, for the past two years, my fellow students have
given immense support and donations to an amazing
individual, who, over the past years has inspired me
to be a better person. This person is my English
teacher, Mrs. Heasley. Last year she raised $2,000
for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, where she walked
for 2 days a total of 39 miles. This year she is well
on her way to reaching her goal.

The support shown by my community inspires such
compassion among its members that any and all
volunteer projects are fun-filled-events. I,
personally have volunteered on many occasions through
and for my community, and look forward to ways in
which I can help out the rest of the world. Since I
was in about 7th grade or so I have volunteered as a
referee for the American Youth Soccer Organization.
Also during my years as an FFA member, I was
privileged enough to be offered the
opportunity to volunteer with the local
Meals-on-Wheels teams.

From cancer-walks, to Toy drives; and from
Meals-on-Wheels to Missions trips in Uganda, the
amount of compassionate people and possible ways to
help the world are countless. Even something as
simple as planting a tree or a weekend roadside
cleanup on Earth Day, everyone can help make this
world a better place.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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