Empathetic Entrepreneurship: Creating an Impact Through Toys

September 11, 2018

By Ashlan Moore, Richmond University in Florence 


By far, one of the most significant and pleasant task I completed as  part of my time studying abroad at Richmond University was raising money for the home shelter where I did my service learning. After being with these children eight to ten hours a week, I became very attached to them. I enjoyed watching them play and interact with each other and their toys.  Although the organization has many toys and activities for them to play with, I noticed that they were not sufficient and some of them were old, damaged or broken. 


So, while I was playing with the kids, I came up with the idea to raise some money in order to get some of the items I believed the organization needed. I went through the website gofundme.com to set up a page for the organization and shared the page to my social media websites (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter). About twelve people were impacted just like me and decided to donate to the fundraiser page. After a month of campaigning, I raised about $900 USD.


The gifts we got with this money  included: a puppet theatre, a large tiger tent, a carpet with a print of a down with roads, wooden cars, lots of books, play brooms and sweepers, and so much more. The look on all of their faces when they saw the gifts  was worth it all! The kids gasped in excitement and the faces of the ladies working there had a look of shock and happiness. They informed me that this was the largest donation they had ever received.  



Doing this was important for me as it was a way  to give back to Florence and the community for having allowed me into their country and city. I felt like  I needed to leave something in Italy that will leave a lasting impact. This was the perfect way for me to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped me get here as well as a way to say ‘thank you’ to the organization for doing the good deeds that they do. I know how much they appreciated my gifts, but I wanted them to know how much I appreciated them.


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