Chaina Nafziger of Archbold, a sixth grade student at Archbold Middle School, was to be presented with an engraved silver medallion Monday to recognize her selection by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as one of Ohio’s top two youth volunteers of 2018.
She organized a bake sale with a friend at her church and raised $1,400 for two charities that assist orphans in Haiti. Chaina lived in an orphanage in Haiti from the age of 6 until she was adopted by a family in Ohio.
“I know what it is like to live in an orphanage and to not have enough food to eat every day,” she said. So when a man came to her church to speak about Haiti, Chaina was reminded of her life there and the children she had left behind. “My friend and I felt so badly for the children that we wanted to do something to help,” she said.
As a State Honoree, Chaina will also receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip in April to Washington, D.C., for several days of national recognition events.
The money raised went to a ministry that provides a home and education for 24 orphans in Haiti, and for another charity that helps find food, homes and school money for Haitian teens who age out of the orphanage where Chaina used to live.
“Most people think that helping people in poor countries is only for adults,” said Chaina, “But they’re wrong. Children can help, too.”
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), represent the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. All middle and high schools in the U.S., along with all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award last November.
Two State Honorees—one middle and one high school student—plus a select number of Distinguished Finalists from each state and the District of Columbia were selected based on criteria such as personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.