Each week, #SpanningtheNeed will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Julia Anderson from John F. Kennedy Catholic School.
Name: Julia Anderson
School/Organization: John F. Kennedy Catholic School
Bio: My name is Julia Anderson and I am 11 years old. My parents are Todd and Jill Anderson and I have an older sister Grace. I go to John F. Kennedy and I am in 6th grade. I participate in writing club, speech and debate, and track. I was on the honor every quarter this year. I attend Blessed Sacrament Parish
What first inspired you to become involved in the community?
Since I was little, my family has always taken angels off of The Salvation Army Angel Tree and purchased gifts for angels. My sister and I each chose an angel, so we always bought for two kids. My parents always let us put money in red kettles or give donations to veterans, who collect in the grocery stores too.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering in our community?
I feel like I help make a difference in the lives of those in need. I am grateful for what my family has provided me and want to share that with others. I enjoy knowing that I am helping make Christmas morning better for families, who might not be able to afford a lot for their children when I help with The Salvation Army.
What type of volunteer work are you or have you been involved in within your community?
I have been taking angels from Angel Tree’s for as long as I can remember. Three years ago I started my own Angel Tree so that I could reach more kids and help them have a better Christmas. I also volunteer at Sleep In Heavenly Peace Trumbull County Chapter. I have helped build beds, but I especially like to volunteer on delivery days. We take the beds and assemble them at peoples houses for their children. They receive a framed bed, mattress, pillow, bedding, & a blanket. The kids are usually very excited for their very own bed. It makes me happy to see kids get a new bed, so they don’t have to sleep on the floor.
What advice would you give anyone to give back to our communities?
I would tell people to start somewhere. There are all kinds of organizations who need volunteers. Whether it’s children, veterans, homeless, or animals, there are plenty of organizations who need help. I promise everyone, it is very rewarding!
What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life?
I don’t really listen to music all that much, so I don’t have a song that describes me.
What is your vision for the future of our community?
I would like to see more young people like me volunteering or helping those in need. A few hours here and there can really make a large impact on others’ lives. Plus, the more young people there are helping, the more fun it is to volunteer. I have met some really nice people volunteering in my community.
What is your best accomplishment/experience in life?
This year I set up a Salvation Army Tree at my house. I invited friends, neighbors, & family to take angels from my tree. We collected gifts for 57 children in Trumbull County. I couldn’t do this without the help of my community. This is my third year having a Salvation Army Tree at my house. 2022 was also great, because I inspired one of my friends in another city to set up a tree of her own. Her tree also helped tons of Trumbull county children.
Who is your role model and Why?
My mom is my role model because she also helps in our community and got me started volunteering. I also love that my school participates in outreach projects. I love my school, John F. Kennedy, because we are always serving others & have since I was in Kindergarten. I really like service days, because we get to help others.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
I have always wanted to meet Oprah Winfrey, because she proved to the world that success is possible with love, determination, & hard work. Oprah overcame poverty, a tough childhood, became a successful talk show host, & started her own foundation donating millions to those in need.
A favorite quote that you live by?
“Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain.” Mandy Hale