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2015-04-21 - Metta Students Foundation awards Amy Harff

The art of giving is not just a saying, for one seventeen year old, it’s a passion. A passion that she turned into a nonprofit. Amy Harff of Barrington wanted to share her love for art, poetry and education and created “The Art of Giving”. Through her partnerships with organizations such as the Galigo Housing Development, Tiverton Sandywoods Boys and Girls Club, East Providence Boys and Girls Club and Prospect Housing Development, her project influenced more than 100 students throughout Rhode Island.

“By explaining how their work would impact thousands of hospital patients, I encouraged the children to participate in community service while also instilling them with a sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others,” states Amy Harff. “My final step was to make the cards. The first part of this process was to select a few pieces of work that would be made into cards. I paired ten poems with ten pieces of art. Next, I scanned the art work, typed up the poems, and formatted the cards. Then, Paula Most and I met with the Printing and Food Services departments of the RI Hospital.

Paula Most and I launched the project in May 2014. More than 300 patients received cards in the first week of distribution.” A ceremony will be held Tues. April 21, 2015 at 8 am at Wheeler High School located at 216 Hope Street in Providence. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-four thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to share metta. Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students. Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness toward another teen.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“I nominated Amy because I was impressed by the way she used her interest in visual art, poetry, and entrepreneurship to give back to the larger community. I am delighted to watch her communicate her own passion to children and to use the final product as a way to provide comfort (and perhaps poetic inspiration) to young patients in a local hospital. Amy brings warmth, compassion, and energy to her daily life at Wheeler, and we’re proud that she shares these traits - -and the power of art and poetry -- with others as well,” states Neeltje Henneman, Upper School Head of Wheeler.

“It is important to give back to the community, because I am so fortunate to live in such an amazing community where I have met inspiring people and have been helped by many volunteers during my life, states Harff. “By giving back, I feel like I am thanking them for helping me to learn, explore, and achieve my goals. It is also important to give back because I believe that as moral citizens, it is our duty to contribute to our community.

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Amy Harff one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.