Skyline High School philanthropist reaches out to neighboring students

September 11, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Prabha Dublish, a junior at Skyline High School, presented her new charity club for teenagers Aug. 18 at Sammamish Days. By Sunita Dublish

When Prabha Dublish began thinking about possible projects for her Girl Scouts gold award, she realized that she wanted to start an organization that connects teens through their goodwill, not their high school’s mascot.

“Our three high schools in our area and in Issaquah are all different from each other,” Dublish said.

The junior at Skyline High School is launching a community service club for students across Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau.

“It’s where people from all of the schools can come together,” she said. “Not only do you get to make new friends but you get to meet people who share your community interests.”

Dublish’s club is called Charity Circle, and while its first official meeting isn’t until later this month, she has been busy putting her plan into action since June. One of her main concerns is concentrating on service, rather than collecting donations.

“I feel like donating money isn’t as impactful as doing service,” she said. “I could just ask my parents for money and I’m not really sacrificing anything. But when you actually go help people and see the impact of your service, that is better than just donating money.”

The 16-year-old philanthropist also wants to make sure that the focus remains local. Already, she has spent the summer talking with charities that are based in the area to find out what their needs are. Her list so far includes the Rotary Club of Sammamish, Eastside Friends of Seniors, ARAS Foundation and Eastside Baby Corner.

“I think it’s important to help out our community,” she said. “And there is actually a lot of need here.”

One organization that is constantly in need of extra hands is Birthday Dreams. Based in Bellevue, the nonprofit provides birthday parties, complete with cake and presents, to homeless children in the Puget Sound area. For its first project, Charity Circle plans to work with Birthdays Dreams in October by making goody bags for parties.

What to know

Charity Circle plans to meet every third Wednesday of the month at Sammamish City Hall, 801 228th Ave. S.E. The first meeting is scheduled for 5:30 Sept. 19. Learn more by emailing charitycircle12@gmail.com.

“We go through a lot of goody bags here so we are always in need of volunteers or groups that want to fill goody bags,” Birthday Dreams co-founder Shannon Avery said. She explained that her organization throws between 50 and 60 birthdays a month with an average of eight to 10 kids at each one. “We get quite a few teenagers wanting to volunteer, not usually running their own group, though.”

Birthday Dreams fits Charity Circle’s theme for the month of October, which is “making wishes come true.” Dublish said she wants the club to have a different theme each month and hopes that it will draw individuals to participate, even for a single event.

“Some people will associate more with some themes as opposed to other themes,” she said. “We welcome anyone in middle school or high school who really wants to do community service … I’m trying to get the word out. I really want to get a representative from each school.”

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