California Sixth Grader Helps Improve the Lives of People in Need


Not every sixth grader dreams of their school project moving beyond the classroom. But for Iselle Santiago, what started as a simple homework assignment will now help people in need around the world.

Iselle came to our headquarters today to deliver orthopedic supplies she began collecting earlier this week as part of her assignment to “think of a plan to change the world, and put it into action” for her class at Village Christian School in Sun Valley, Calif.

Inspired by her baby brother’s recovery from hip dysplasia – a misalignment of the hip joint that can cause crippling lameness – Iselle came up with the idea to change the world by collecting new and used crutches, walkers, braces and related items to give to humanitarian organizations such as Direct Relief that can restore the equipment and then send it to those in need of medical care worldwide.

Iselle created her campaign through a Facebook page titled “Brace the Human Race” and encouraged people who no longer needed their orthopedic equipment to donate to her cause. She also reached out to the community to help support her project, receiving donations from various doctors.

For Iselle – whose project is due tomorrow – it is no longer about getting an ‘A.’

“I want to do this for the rest of my life,” she told Direct Relief staff.

Direct Relief is thrilled to help Iselle accomplish her goal and improve the health and lives of people in need around the world.

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