"Getting what you want is not nearly as important as giving what you have." (Krause,1970)
Tiffany Leahy certainly lives by this saying. Tiffany is an ordinary teenager who wants what other teenagers want. She wants to go to college, she wants to finish writing her third book, she wants to hang out with her friends, but Tiffany chooses something different to do with all her time for others she doesn’t even know, and some she will never even meet.
Tiffany wrote an award winning book called, Annadyomene (www.Annadyomene.com), when she was just 12 years old. While writing her book, Tiffany discovered that according to an article she read in US Today by Anne McGrath, "A huge number of teens simply can't make much sense of their textbooks. Close to 70% of eighth graders read below the "proficient" level, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress." This greatly disturbed Tiffany, so she set her sights on changing that statistic and help students to enjoy reading and writing.
Tiffany wanted to make it fun and creative and so with her book she created a writing contest. Over 500 schools in the Washington area are being asked to participate and give this contest to their students. The students (ages from 8-17) need to write 5 or 6 sentences on anything in history and put themselves into it. Once the student enters the contest and wins then they are celebrated with an event held at Microsoft in Bellevue.
When Tiffany is not doing the schools she then volunteers for others - others that she never gets to meet. Babies and small children that are in crisis and desperately in need of comfort.
1) Tiffany and her sister Tara hand sew “Teddy Bears” and colorful "comfy" pillows.
Recipients for these pillows and bears are the following:
Children’s Hospital (Seattle, WA) for their ill children needing comfort;
Fire Station #18 (Brier, WA) whose children have been displaced due to fire;
Police Department/Domestic Abuse (Lynnwood, WA) for children displaced due to violence.
Police Department/Domestic Abuse (Brier, WA) for children displaced due to violence.
To date: Over 200 bears and pillows have been donated.
2) Tiffany has adopted a Stryker Platoon of 32+ soldiers out of Iraq. She fills strongly about our soldiers fighting overseas, and wants to show support from home. Every day, Tiffany writes letters filled with laughter/jokes and sends boxes of needed things (mostly comfort food/candy) to her Platoon of 32+ soldiers overseas.
3) Tiffany volunteers reading and helping out, every week, to kindergarteners at a local parochial school.
**Extra Note: Tiffany needs everyone's help in getting the word out to the various schools to help in participation of the contest (its free to enter and there is nothing to buy). Tiffany feels there is so much more she can do if she can just get into more schools.
So thank you for letting me take your time to introduce you to a most remarkable, unselfish, young lady, Tiffany Leahy, who is changing our community one student, one baby, and one small child at a time.