Read about Amanda
O'Neil's contribution to community services, and
the organization she has started.
In addition to her work with Amnesty International
and Santa's Helpers, Amanda
started an organization called My Travel Bug, which promotes the
educational benefits of travel abroad. Amanda
sent her "story" to us on November
kind of philanthropy did you participate in?
Amanda: Growing up I was the student leader of
Amnesty International. I also participated in
Santa's Helpers, a group that adopted letters
from the post office each December and went
Christmas shopping for the families.
did you get the idea to get involved?
Amanda: I went to schools which encouraged and
(by high school) required community service.
My mother is also active in community service.
Where were you working?
Amanda: I have
now started an organization called My Travel Bug, which promotes
the educational benefits of travel abroad. We
believe travel teaches tolerance, communication
and historical and cultural lessons, which cannot
be learned in a classroom. We have a small Fellowship
for people who cannot afford to travel on their
you work with anyone else?
Amanda: We have a Board of Directors, a website
consultant but it's mostly me!
What was the best
thing about your experience with philanthropy?
Amanda: It's my small way of connecting with
other people on the planet and a way to make
a change in the world, one trip at a time. At
the end of my life I want to have affected many
the hardest part of your project?
Amanda: Fundraising! It's hard to turn worthy
trips down because we don't have enough money
to give out.
you say to someone else who is thinking of getting involved with some kind of
out what your interests are personally and then
find an organization in that field. If you like
sports, find a local Boys and Girls Club. If
you like the environment, find a recycling project...
you changed as a result of your experience participating in philanthropy?
Amanda: I see a broader picture in what I want
to achieve in my life. Other people my age are
now obsessed with their careers whereas I'm
happy working at a job I love and created myself!
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