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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

7-year-old extends relief effort to TCC

By Heather Horton/south news editor

NE student Andrea Ospina is the mother of Catalina, middle, a 7-year-old who was inspired to start a campaign to help typhoon victims in the Philippines.  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
NE student Andrea Ospina is the mother of Catalina, middle, a 7-year-old who was inspired to start a campaign to help typhoon victims in the Philippines. Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

A 7-year-old girl and her mother are sparking a movement to help typhoon victims in the Philippines.

The Birdville ISD student started a campaign at her elementary school, and she and her mother want to see it extend to all TCC campuses.

“Catalina Ospina is a natural leader,” her mother, Andrea, said.

Andrea Ospina, a NE student and  senator of the student ambassadors, said she received a phone call from the girl’s teacher at the Academy of Francis Thomas telling her, “Your daughter is amazing.”

The girl has a strong feeling for the people affected by the typhoon and wants to help, she said.

“When I saw on TV how sad the people were, it made me feel sad,” Catalina Ospina said. “I wanted to do something, and I wanted to make a change.”

Her mother said the girl wants to give as much as she can to those affected by the storm.

“She said, ‘I have everything, and it’s not fair that they are suffering and that they are going through this,’” Andrea Ospina said.

Organizations such as FEMA and the Red Cross are taking monetary donations, but TCC campuses will begin collecting tangible hygienic items that will be shipped directly to those in need overseas.

The schools are partnering with Divine Mercy of Our Lord Catholic Church, which has a direct connection to various communities within the Philippines. 

“They have a significant Filipino community, and so what they are doing on their own, they are shipping items over there,” Andrea Ospina said.

She said NE Campus has approved their initiative, and she hopes to get approval from the other four campuses soon. When that happens, donation boxes will be placed throughout specific buildings on campus for the next three weeks.

To kickstart the campaign, the mother and daughter are arranging to have a table set up at some point so that students can come and meet the girl who inspired this operation and to support this effort by dropping off donations.

This event is special because the idea didn’t come from an adult but from the heart of a 7-year-old girl, she said.

“These people in the Philippines, they need help,” she said. “You know everybody collects food and water, but nobody thinks about soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other medical items.”

Catalina Ospina said she’s been learning in her school about making a difference in the world, and this gives her the chance to do that.

“The two worst problems we have in this world are intolerance and indifference,” the girl said. “Intolerance is when no one wants to accept what you believe, and indifference is when not enough people really care. That’s why we have so many problems.”

Elaine Bonilla and Georgia Phillips contributed to this story.

How to help:

For more information about how to help, email andrea.ospina@my.tccd.edu.

 

 

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