Inspiration from a 12 Year Old

 Osjah Castro and Snowden McFallNot too long ago, I had the privilege of delivering the keynote speech for Community Connections Volunteer Appreciation Event.  This non-profit organization in Jacksonville, FL does an amazing job of fighting homelessness, poverty and hunger, helping families, and homeless women and children. The luncheon saluted all the wonderful 1100 volunteers who do so much.   They are all so impressive and give so generously of their time and money.  But every once in a while, there is a volunteer who truly stands out.

One such volunteer is Osjah Castro. How many 12 year olds do you know that have 1000 volunteer hours for each year of their lives?  (Yes- that’s over 12,000 hours, folks) That’s Osjah’s story, and she is amazing. Poised, confident and enthusiastic, Osjah is bumble about what she has done and enthusiastic about the future. Now organizing a concert fundraiser with national teen stars, Osjah is passionate, positive and committed. When I asked what she likes best about volunteering, she said “The way it makes you feel.”  I couldn’t agree more. Giving back touches your heart, lifts your stress and inspires your soul. Osjah has inspired me; I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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