This I Believe

Paige - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Start to Finish

I believe in finishing what I start. Once I start this essay I probably have to write it straight through. No breaks. No hesitation. I’m like that with most things. Once I have the commitment and dedication. I feel compelled to take my responsibility and give it my all.

The past two weeks have been chaotic. Every Tuesday and Thursday, right as the bell rings I meet my friends and walk to the Red Cross. I received the news after school, May 24th. All the of the volunteers gather up at the 7th and Michigan gate, besides the blue faded table under the big tree. I was walking to the Santa Monica Red Cross, Broadway and 11th.

On the way Jerry called, “…”, all I could hear was sigh after sigh. Jerry is the youth advisor, the head of our program. The hesitation was awkward, too much tension. I could not hold out the silence any longer. So I broke it, “Jerry…Is there something wrong?”

By the time he responded I was already at the staircase of Red Cross. So I hung up and swung open the heavy white door. The blinds were closed, no light seeping through. The office was dark.

Our funding was cut. We didn’t have money to save the Red Cross. And the youth program would be the first to get cut.

I couldn’t let the program be cut. Red Cross is my life. I know it’s a bit weird, but I love meeting new people, helping people, and I need to finish what I started.

I am the president of the youth program at the Red Cross. After hearing such news, I had to do something. I felt obligated, I couldn’t quit. I had to save the program for my sake, the volunteers sake, and Jerry’s sake. This wasn’t just our problem, but it was someone’s job on the line.

I wrote letters to the city councilmen of Santa Monica to get a hearing at the City Hall, asking for $58,000.

I went to the city fair at Clover Park to seek out any city councilmen. Through the Hawaiian music playing the background and little kids running around the park, I met up with one. I told him of our situation and brought it to his attention. He joked around, asking me if he looked like he had a money sign drawn on his shirt, but he assured me to get us our hearing.

I worked furiously, gathering campaigns and members.

On May 31st, we marched into City Hall. We held up our signs and gave our speech.

The result are still unknown. We are not too sure of what to expect. Nevertheless, I am going to work till the end, until I feel the damp sweat covering each part of my body. And even if I finish last, I will run to the finish line.

My list get longer because once I start something I have to take it to the finish. No quitting.