Staples High School senior Emily Platt helped hundreds of needy children around the world this summerall without leaving Westport.
Platt, 18, worked as an intern in the direct-response marketing department at Save the Children, a Westport-based nonprofit. As part of her internship, she was asked to create an event for its "Make a Difference" community fundraising program. Her idea was a window-painting competition.
"I had the idea in the back of my mind from a window-painting contest I participated in in the past," she said.
Platt said she thought it would be successful because it was an activity that many members of the community could get involved in.
She was right: More than $5,286 was raised from the competition, which took place on eight storefront windows along Main Street.
"Initially, I set a project goal of $1,500," Platt said. "But once I saw the potential it had, that project goal became $5,000. I'm so thankful we were able to reach thatit's going to help so many children."
The money raised will go toward the purchase of 52 child-friendly space kits. These kits are filled with toys and games and are provided to children worldwide at the onset of disaster. Just one kit, Platt said, provides toys to 30 or 40 children.
"I feel really great," Platt said. "But it's not about me. It's about the number of kids who will be positively affected by this project, created by a [then] 17-year-old girl. It goes to show you anything is possible, if you set your mind to it."
Platt, who's thinking of studying political science in college, said her experience this summer inspired her to continue helping others.
"I've always been passionate about helping the community," she said. "It gives you a sense of pride you can't find anywhere else."
To see the winning window designs and how much money each raised, visit the fundraiser website .
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