By Amina Meric (YES 2019-20, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed by ACES in Aledo, IL)
The most meaningful community service projects take time and require partnerships. YES Alumna and City Representative Mia Krcum and her work in the community this year are proof of this. For example, throughout March, Mia organized a project that helped victims of domestic abuse at a women's home in her city.
On March 4, Miatogether with YES Alumni Coordinator Amina Meric and YES Abroad students Anneliese Galler, John Getzie, and Syarra Goldstein organized a fundraising thrift sale hosted at the Hub Homework. Hub Homework is Bosnia’s first university hub that gathers young people around the common goal of education and learning. Hub Homework graciously provided the team with space to hold the fundraising thrift sale for free. The thrift sale raised close to $100, and all proceeds from the sales from an array of thrift stores from Sarajevo went towards purchasing hygiene and school supplies for the women’s shelter.
During March, Mia also contacted a local elementary school to help expand her project. During sessions after school hours, students wrote Women’s Day cards for women at the Safe House, which the team would send with the hygiene and school supplies. Mia and the team then purchased the fundraised materials on April 1. Finally, on April 7, they delivered the collected donations and Women’s Day cards to the women’s shelter in Sarajevo.
When talking with Mia Krcum, she shared, “I decided to host a thrift sale again, not only because it was successful the first time, but also because it was a great way to uplift many women in the community. The small business owners could showcase their items and grow their platforms through this event, and of course we were able to help the women in the safe home. We decided to include elementary school students to donate their time to make personal cards to uplift the women. This project meant a lot to me as a woman, a feminist, and someone who loves shopping sustainably, of which the project was a perfect combination.”
Many people in the community came together for the project. It helped people in need, and small businesses were able to expand their market. We are thankful to Mia for this great initiative, as well as her fellow YES alumni and YES Abroad students, and to the many partners that participated in this project, including Hub Homework, Osnovna škola elementary school, and various thrift stores. We can't wait to see what our alumni will do next!
Mia Krcum (YES 2021-22, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed with CIEE in Cato, WI)