Henry, shut up!


In my last RCL post I said that I am a very “passionate” person… That is a very nice way to describe me. I am loud, extremely friendly, and love to be the center of attention. When I played baseball, it was easy for me to be myself; moreover, I would always be the loudest player on the field, give pre-game pep talks, and taunt the other team. How in the world was I going to be obnoxious Henry while doing service?

Sometime after my surgery, I sat in on my school’s service club’s weekly meeting. I remember the board members saying that they needed more money to support our partner school in Nairobi, Kenya. When I went home that day, I found myself meticulously crafting a Super Bowl Pool to ensure that my buddies and I would be able to gamble on the big game. My mom walked into the kitchen, and said, “Hen, why don’t you do a Super Bowl pool for St. Al’s in Kenya?” She got me thinking… Teenagers don’t like to hand out money, but when they have the opportunity to win something, they are the first to open their wallets.

The next day, with the help of a few friends, I set up a Super Bowl Pool ($7 per box) in my school’s cafeteria– $5 from every box would be given to St. Al’s and the other $2 would go towards the prize. At first, no one came over to the sign; it was as if we were invisible. However, in classic Henry fashion, I stood on top of the table and began screaming, “Super Bowl Boxes! $200 pay-out to the winner!” Immediately, a line formed across the cafeteria, and we were forced to create two separate pools. At the end of the day, I raised $1000 for AIDS orphans in Kenya, and that $1000 funded a full year’s education and housing for a child. This simple fundraiser showed me that my personality is at the foundation of all my passions, even when they change.

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