At 14, when I started high school, I wanted to set some new goals for myself. Working hard to get good grades and challenging myself in new ways were my priorities. My mother always encouraged me and my two older brothers to get involved in a community-related service that would provide us with opportunities to help others who are experiencing difficulties in life. I knew this was not only a great opportunity to get involved in something meaningful but a way to break out of my comfort zone. I chose to use my love for baking to celebrate the birthdays of children living in homeless shelters.
For as far back as I can remember, my parents always made me feel special on my birthdays. Not all children are as fortunate as I have been. The town I have grown up in is less than two miles from one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts where there are dozens of homeless shelters. I know that the families who live there struggle to provide a home, food, and security for their children, let alone a birthday party. I can only imagine the stress that must fill their lives daily. One Wish Project was born from my idea that I would celebrate the birthdays of these children who are living in circumstances that are beyond their control. Along the way, I hope I can alleviate just a little stress off the shoulders of the parent(s) who just wants to see his/her child happy and feeling extra special on their birthday.
University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 2024
American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Youth Hero Award
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, Bronze Award
Boston Celtics, Heroes Among Us
MaryJo Brown Foundation, Grand Winner
Sonia Schreiber Weitz Upstander Award Finalist
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Executive Director and Hannah's Mom
Claudia has been part of One Wish Project from the beginning. While Hannah was busy making the most amazing birthday cakes in their Andover home, Claudia assisted Hannah with all the things that a 14-year old girl could not do herself. Claudia opened a bank account to accept donations, drove Hannah to the supermarkets for cake ingredients and the toy stores, and of course, accompanied Hannah to all the shelter deliveries. As the organization continued to grow and Hannah was beginning the transition process to college in the Fall of 2020, One Wish Project became a volunteer-based organization and Claudia took over the day-to-day responsibilities of the organization. Today, Claudia is One Wish Project's Executive Director focusing on Strategic Development and growth.
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at a time
Sharing an important message
Throughout her high school years, Hannah spoke to hundreds of young children sharing her message that "you are never too young to get involved". Hannah became a sought-after guest speaker within her community at elementary schools, PTO groups, Brownie/Girl Scout/Cub/Eagle Scout Troop meetings, Girls On The Run, and so many more youth organizations. Sharing her story of how she started the One Wish Project at just 14 years old, Hannah explained that they too can get involved without having to start a non-profit organization. Holding doors for people, helping their parents at home, joining a student sitting alone at the lunch table, and calling a grandparent just to say "I love you" are just a few examples Hannah shared with the children of how they can start now to give back, and more importantly, to be kind.
Celebrating approximately 50 children/year
and Family Services
Celebrating approximately 300 children/year
and Family Services
Celebrating approximately 200 children/year
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