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Girls Up club receives Mudita gift

• Dec 21, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Spring Lake High School junior Mia Davidson is on a mission to raise awareness on the plight of girls worldwide who are prevented from education and empowerment.

Davidson has spearheaded a new school club, the United Nations-sponsored Girls Up, that focuses on raising awareness and funds to help the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls living in places where it is most difficult to be a girl. Club membership has already reached 76.

To raise awareness locally, the club will be showing the documentary “Girl Rising” in January. Considered one of the most powerful and revolutionary films of 2014, it follows the life stories of nine girls from the developing world who struggle every day for freedom, education, opportunities and a life free of violence.

Davidson said she was deeply affected by this film.

“I cried when I watched the film,” she said. “The personalized stories moved me and it changed my outlook completely.”

In support of the club's efforts to spread recognition and the severity of the issue, Davidson was awarded Extended Grace’s Mudita gift of $500 for November. The grant money will help pay for the rental and promotion of the film, and also to further fundraising efforts.

The gift was funded by the Robert E. Robbins law firm and the Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Community, both located in Grand Haven.

“Riverside Nursing and Rehab is always looking for opportunities to help support our local community,” said Tammy Garza, the nursing home’s administrator. “We thought that the Mudita fund was the perfect way to support a great cause for a local young woman to make an impact in the world. Our youth is so valuable to our future, and being able to support their passions is one way we could give back to the community.”

Attorney Samantha Pepperock noted that she is grateful to support such a worthy cause.

“Immigration law is my passion and in some ways related to helping the oppressed or unrepresented population,” she said. “I am honored to sponsor the efforts of Mia and Girls Up. To tackle such a monumental and important issue is inspiring.”

Mudita is a Sanskrit word that means “I rejoice in your good fortune.” The $500 gifts are awarded to individuals who have creative ideas for improving the lives of others. Applications are available online at extendedgrace.org/mudita-fund. People interested in sponsoring a $500 Mudita or would like additional information can contact Barbara Lee Van Horssen at barbara@extrendedgrace.org.

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