One of the best things about the International Pageants system is that there is a true focus on community service, whether that is on the state or the national level. I have been part of the International family since I was five years old. This privilege has opened up numerous opportunities for me to serve others in a lot of different ways. 

As an International title holder, I have done things from riding in parades, participated in the Go Red for Women Heart Walk, visited veterans during the week of Valentine’s Day, served as an intern at the American Heart Association, and so many other things! But the coolest thing that I have learned is that it is our duty to serve. It isn’t just the job of titleholders to give back, but it is everyone’s job, young orold! I believe everyone should take the time to volunteer for an organization they care about. Volunteering can bring people together, make you feel good about the difference you are making, it can help you make new friends, and it is simply important to give back to the community where you live.

As the National pageant approached, I started thinking about a platform and an organization that I wanted to promote. This was an easy decision for me to make! I have visited and donated to the Humane Society for as long as I can remember! I adopted my cat, Gorgeous, from my local shelter 5 years ago. Any Humane Society that I have visited has gone above and beyond to inform me of their shelter policies and needs. I would like to encourage all to visit their local shelters and see what volunteer opportunities are available. There is ALWAYS work to do at an animal shelter. This year for my birthday, I asked my friends to bring dog or cat food instead of presents to my party. This very small act allowed me to donate over 600 lbs. offood to the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society’s food bank. I am always thrilled to be part of their events, for example, I volunteered at the annual bake sale which raised over $18,000. I try to volunteer any time that I can in order to support this wonderful organization! I love to bring my friends along when I visit the Humane Society. It is my hope that sharing my passion will encourage them to become involved, too!

Never feel like you have to have a platform to serve. I work outside of my platform all of the time!!! I enjoy getting out and giving my time to groups that need it! If you are ever reluctant oryou aren’t sure where to start, try your local animal shelter, a nursing home, the library, walk or run for a fundraiser, work at a food bank or a soup kitchen. The list goes on and on! Just get out there, find what works for you, and serve!



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