A School Project with Heart: How Lucy Made a Difference


At The Foundling, we believe that anyone – regardless of age, circumstance, or location – has the potential to make a difference in the world.

Lucy Musler, a 14 year old student from Issaquah, Washington, is a shining example of this. This past spring, she was assigned a school project in her 8th grade Language Arts class – prompted by the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton – to create a plan to help those who lack support systems within their communities. The project resonated deeply with Lucy, and she created a detailed plan to raise money to donate supplies to children in foster care. While her teacher did not expect Lucy to execute her plan, Lucy was determined to see it through. Lucy created a GoFundMe, shared her story, and set a goal of $400. Ultimately, she far exceeded her goal, raising a staggering $3000, which she donated to The Foundling and other organizations that support children in foster care and preventative services.


Lucy and her family are overjoyed by the success of the campaign, and grateful for the generosity that has come out of this project. She recently visited New York City for the first time on a family vacation, allowing Lucy to feel a deeper connection to her fundraising work. As she prepares to enter high school this fall, she looks forward to using her compassion and motivation to help others in the future.

We did a short interview with Lucy – read more about her experience and connection to The Foundling below!

For your school project, you created a plan to help kids in foster care, and then you made it happen! Why is this cause important to you?

I’m lucky to have a happy family and a roof over my head, but I’m a teenager; a lot of the foster kids I read about are my age. It could easily be my friends or my classmates. That’s what makes this important to me.

After you decided you wanted to support foster youth, what next? What were your steps for starting this fundraiser and reaching out for support?

My initial aim was a fundraiser held inside of my school, so I pitched my ideas to the school fundraising committee. When that turned out to be a dead end, I decided to take the project to the internet. From there, I selected the organizations, formulated a budget, and set up the GoFundMe.

What advice would you give to someone else trying to fundraise for a cause they care about?

Cliché, but my advice would be to not give up. I felt pretty stuck after my first plan failed, but if I’d quit then, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I have.

You recently found out you have a family connection to The Foundling. Did you know that when you first decided to start this fundraiser? Did learning about your family history change your perspective?

My Gruncle (great uncle) Tom told me that my great, great grandpa was cared for by The Foundling after I had already chosen it as one of my organizations, and I found it to be a pretty beautiful coincidence. I hope my donation to The Foundling can also be a thank you for creating my family, as well as many others.

Have you been involved in community service in the past, or is this the first time you’ve done a project to help others? Would you do other things like this in the future – and if so, do you have any ideas of what you’d like to try next?

I haven’t been involved in community service in the past, but I plan to in the future. I’m a strong writer, so I’ve thought about doing some essays. However I do it, though, I definitely want to use my skills and privileges to help others. Making an impact in the world is important to me.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you or this project?

I just want to shout out Ms. Kwok, the teacher who assigned this project and made it all possible. She’s a great teacher and a truly kind person.

Inspired by Lucy’s story? You too can support the children, adults, and families in our programs:

Peer to Peer (P2P) fundraising allows passionate individuals to raise money on behalf of an organization through personalized giving pages that they share with peers – friends, family, coworkers, and other contacts.

There are many reasons to create a P2P fundraising page, including:

  • Birthdays – instead of presents, have friends/family donate to a cause close to your heart
  • In Memorium – honor the memory of a loved one with a fundraiser for their favorite charity
  • Personal Goals – utilize P2P fundraising as a personal incentive to help you achieve fitness goals or other aspirations, while making a difference in the lives of others
  • General Support – maximize your impact in the community, by leveraging your social networks to do good

Join other fundraisers on The Foundling’s dedicated P2P platform– JustGiving – by  clicking ‘Fundraise for Us.’

For questions or additional information on P2P fundraising for The Foundling, reach out to Laura Wright at Partners@NYFoundling.org or 212-886-4087.


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