Linda Borges, a senior at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, is selling sweatshirts online to raise money for the Save the Children Fund. The fund was created to improve the lives of children through better education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
For her project, which serves as her senior capstone project at school, Linda said she wanted to do something for charity, and started thinking about ways she could help. “It became obvious to me that education would be at the center of my initiative,” Linda said. “I think supporting the development of education for children, especially in vulnerable or developing areas of the world, is incredibly important.”
Linda said encouraging education and creativity during childhood allows opportunity to grow and prosper later on in life. “Children in underdeveloped countries have little access to quality education. That’s why I chose Save the Children — they have been working to provide education for children all around the world,” Linda said.
For her fundraiser, Linda chose a website called CustomInk, which has a fundraising page where people can have any proceeds from purchased items go directly to a charity.
On the sweatshirts that Linda designed are dainty hummingbirds in mid-flight, which she said are symbolic of the slogan of the fundraiser, “Drop by drop.”
Her sweatshirt design was based on the story of the hummingbird, which Linda recalled her father telling her when she was younger. “It’s a story that is a good reminder of our role and purpose as human beings,” Linda said.
The story goes that a hummingbird saw a fire in a forest with hopeless animals watching. The hummingbird flew to the river and drew water into her beak, then flew back to drop it on the fire. The other animals in the forest said the hummingbird’s beak was too small to carry enough water to put out the fire, but she answered, “Well, at least I am doing what I can, drop by drop.”
Linda said the story sends a powerful message about each individual doing his or her part to make a difference.
Although Linda said she doesn’t consider herself an artist, the sketch she sent in to CustomInk is a perfect representation of the delicate nature of each individual’s responsibility.
The fundraiser has been up for about a month, and Linda said she has sold more than 30 sweatshirts. Each sweatshirt sells for $40, which means Linda has raised $520 for her charity of choice.
“I was surprised and happy when people started buying them. I wasn’t expecting that many people to even see it, especially during the quarantine,” Linda said.
Linda said that during the global pandemic, Save the Children has continued to provide children with at-home resources necessary to continue education. They have also been providing resources in impoverished areas of the world that are at great risk of being devastated by the virus.
“I think it’s good to give to a charity, especially now when there are so many people in need. We are lucky to have what we have here on the Island, but I think it’s important we do our part to help others who aren’t so lucky,” Linda said.