Taryn ManningOwner - Taryn's Creative Crafts
Taryn's Story :
When I was a child, my parents always made sure to instill the importance of being involved in your community and working hard. My parents were both involved in community organizaitons, in which my brother and I volunteered during their special events.
When I was 12 years old, I was introduced to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a charity where 100% of the money goes to helping children in developing countries. I rolled $25 worth of pennies, and donated my collection. A few months later, I received a picture in the mail of a child sitting behind a bedkit and a label with my name on it. To see who actually received my donation changed my life forever. My family and I started fundraising for Sleeping Children by hosting a Hungarian Goulash Cookout, where everything was homemade.
After 10 years of hosting this fundraiser, I became a traveling SCAW team member and assisted in a distribution of bedkits in Nairobi, Kenya. I was amazed by the people, the culture, and the atmosphere. My heart was broken when I saw the living conditions of the children I was there to help. As shock was starting to set in, the sound of laughter caught my attention. I saw children playing soccer with a ball made of plastic bags. They were smiling, laughing, and doing what kids do best. Despite having nothing, these kids were happy. These kids taught me such a valuable lesson. It doesn’t take possessions to be happy. Happiness is what you make of a situation. You can choose to focus on the positive or the negative. I choose the positive.
I came home a completely different person, with a whole new appreciation for what we take for granted everyday. My family and I continued to raise money for SCAW and in 2014 my mom and I went on a distribution to Pune, India. I was beyond thrilled to be able to share in this experience with my mom. Just as before, the kids had nothing but they were happy. We continued to fundraise for SCAW until 2015, when my father passed away. We are now focused on volunteering in our community.
In January of 2016, I became a mom for the first time. I am passing on to my son what was passed on to me. I am teaching him the importance of volunteering, working hard, focusing on the positive, and the importance of being happy.