Student Philanthropist Works For Justice & Compassion
JULY 3, 2007

Varadian is honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals

Stonehill sophomore Sarah Rose Varadian '10 is an award-winning fundraiser and philanthropist.

In March 2007, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) presented her with its 2007 William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 18-23, for "her extraordinary work and for inspiring others to follow in her footsteps."

Because they believe in her talent and ability, the AFP also invited her to intern at their Washington, D.C. headquarters during the summer. The association, representing nearly 28,000 members worldwide, fosters the development of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

Varadian's commitment to service began in 2001 when President George W. Bush asked children in the United States to send $1 each for the Fund for Afghan Children, supervised by the Red Cross. Varadian, of Norwood, Mass., decided that $1 was just not enough and put together a children's fair in her front yard, raising more than $800.

This impromptu fundraising event led to an ongoing interest in the plight of the needy and to Varadian's own philanthropic project, Wee Care Bears (www.wee-care.org), to benefit the Fund for Afghan Children through CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere).

In her first year at Stonehill, Varadian, an early childhood education and psychology major, added to her knowledge of community service with volunteer work for Into the Streets and My Brother's Keeper. Working side-by-side with other Stonehill students, she helped to clean and deliver the used furniture and appliances the organization gives to those in need.

"It was an incredible experience to physically do something for someone and be able to see their reactions," she explains.

Her Wee Care Bear project had helped children in Afghanistan, Armenia, and Africa, but her experience at Stonehill brought about a new awareness. "Participating in My Brother's Keeper at Stonehill helped me to realize that it's not only those in countries far away, but the people and places in our own backyards that need just as much help."

With her newfound insight, Varadian would like to bring her successful Wee Care Bears project to Stonehill. "It is the type of community," she comments, "that I feel would embrace this kind of service project."

"We are very proud of the work Sarah is doing," notes Nuala Boyle, director of community service and volunteerism at Stonehill. "She personifies what we would hope every student here strives to be: someone who leads with courage toward creating a more just and compassionate world."

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