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Raising money and awareness for Darfur

Cool Kid Shelby Layne
July 17, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
At 14 years old, Cool Kid Shelby Layne became aware of the horrible treatment of women and young girls in Darfur. When Shelby joined Jewish World Watch, she found a way to raise money for the cause."We reached out into the community," Shelby said. "I wrote a letter explaining what was happening, the atrocities in Darfur and asking for jewelry donations. So, with a combination of my personally made jewelry and donated jewelry, I was able to acquire enough to hold a jewelry sale."

The goal was to buy and supply solar-powered cookers for the people in Darfur. During the process, Shelby discovered something about herself.

"Getting started, I never expected it would lead to raising thousands of dollars, by any means," Shelby said. "And so it gave me a sense of empowerment to realize that I could make a difference."

Those who guide Jewish World Watch noticed that Shelby stood out from the moment she got involved.

"Her bright enthusiasm, her honesty, her integrity -- that she is only coming from a place of wanting to make a positive difference in the world. There's nothing else there. There's a certain purity of spirit and of conscience," said Janice Kamenir-Reznik of Jewish World Watch.

Whether she is making jewelry or speaking to future volunteers, Shelby wants to inspire others.

"I think it is showing them, first of all, that you don't have to have a special skill or anything to get started," Shelby said. "You can just take a part of who you are and transform that into something really unique."

Reaching out across the world to help while motivating others at home to do the same, she is our Cool Kid, Shelby Layne.

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