Local student goes silent for a good cause
LANSDALE, Pa. - May 4, 2011 (WPVI) -- A 15 year old Lansdale girl is helping to with a very grown up effort to help children very far away.
"Invisible Children" organization produced a short film that tells the true story of countless youngsters in Uganda that were abducted from their families.
They were trained to be soldiers to fight in the African nation's 25-year long civil conflict.
Mary Beth Loeffler, a sophomore at Lansdale Catholic High School, sat through a screening of the film with her youth group.
It was an experience that changed her life.
"I knew I had to do something to help the kids there, but I didn't know what to do," said Mary Beth.
So, she started by being a part of Invisible Children's "25 Campaign" where sponsors were recruited to support a 25 hour vow of silence.
"You had to stay silent for at least 25 hours, and you had to raise at least $25," said Mary Beth. "Obviously I set my goal higher than that. I set my goal at $3,000, but I made $5,100."
She didn't raise $5,100 just by keeping her mouth shut. She bolstered her effort with a massive bake sale at her school over the span of three weeks in April.
The money raised will now go to organizations dedicated to stopping the exploitation of children in Central Africa.
Emily Loeffler admits, she didn't think her little sister had it in her.
"She's just really dedicated and driven to everything she does, so I really shouldn't have been surprised by anything she does. But like once she puts her mind to something, obviously she can do really great things," said Emily Loeffler.
Officials from Invisible Children decided to reward Mary Beth for the great things she has done. They decided to sponsor her to take a 10-day trip to Uganda to see firsthand the great work they are doing.
Mary Beth leaves for Africa in June.
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