Operation Rainbow

Featured Young Writer of the Month:

Maya Mills

Purposeful parenting isn’t just for adults; it’s a concept that can be put into practice by any nurturing soul. The following essay is a perfect example. Please welcome our Featured Young Writer of the Month, Maya Mills.

Since I can remember, my mom has been traveling on medical trips with a volunteer team called Operation Rainbow. I used to always ask to go with her and this year I was finally old enough to join the team on a trip to Leon, Nicaragua. I knew it would be an incredible experience to have with my mom, but I decided to get my school involved as well. Together with help from our counselor, teachers, and parents, the students from Adda Clevenger School collected gently used baby blankets, toys, and crutches. Our annual Arts Festival was dedicated to fundraising for the project; students made get well cards and had a bake sale and balloon animal table. We raised over $900 to buy medicines and supplies for the patients in Nicaragua.

Operation Rainbow
My job on the medical team was to keep our patients relaxed before surgery and comfort them afterwards. Every patient who had surgery received special attention, blankets, and toys so they wouldn’t be frightened, and there were plenty of cards and blankets left for other kids in the hospital as well. I had an amazing experience working with the kids. I really got to see what volunteer work is like and how much good can be done by a small group of dedicated people.

Operation Rainbow

After returning to San Francisco, a few friends and I put together a slideshow showing the students working on the project and the effects it had on the children in Nicaragua. The students at my school, some just 5 yrs. old, were astonished at how they were each able to do something small that together could make a big impact on so many other kids. Even some of the parents said they were delighted to see their old baby blankets being used again to bring comfort to a child. I’m hopeful that our school can have a kids-helping-kids project like this every year.


Thank you for your inspiring words, Maya. I’m sure all of our readers are looking forward to hearing more from you! 

If you’d like to have a reminder of this amazing story and how little hands can do big things, consider purchasing a copy of Jack Johnson’s My Own Two Handsthe song featured in the video you’ve just seen.


7 thoughts on “Featured Young Writer of the Month:

  1. I encourage my children to be the change they seek in the world. It’s exactly what you are doing, Maya. I’m honored to host you on our blog and to have my children attend school with you. Keep leading my example!

  2. What an inspiring example you are for so many young people! And what an eye opening and life changing experience for you to have. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is a wonderful story; I especially love the visual of the smaller children being surprised and excited by the possibilities. Thank you, Maya!

  4. I loved reading about your experience volunteering in Nicaragua! What a great example of leadership and generosity you are for the younger kids. I especially enjoyed seeing the slideshow of the children that you helped. Great work!

  5. Maya this was SO uplifting to read. Thank you for this work, but more importantly, for knowing how crucial the work is. It’s a great reminder that we sometimes do small things (for us, anyway) that have a big impact for others. Keep up the great work!

  6. Maya
    I have had the honor to work with your Mom on Operation Rainbow trips and all I can say is that YOU and your Mom are awesome!! Thank you for your help and your school for their support. Maybe some day we will be on a trip together.

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