Two years ago, eight 14-year-old girls watched a newsreport about Ghanian children who are trafficked for as little as $20. That was good news for the girls. “For three years, we’d been saying that we wanted to help people, but could never agree on a project,” recalls Anjelica Mantikas. “When we heard about the trafficked children in Ghana, we all knew — this is it!”
The eight Long Island, N.Y. friends decided to save at least one child. “We even signed contracts promising to work on it for at least one year,” explains Ariel Stern. “But once we started, we couldn’t stop.” They launched a charity, One Is Greater Than None (1>0), and designed 1>0 bracelets, necklaces and T-shirts to raise money for the International Organization for Migration, which rescues children.
Two years later, the girls have saved not one but 48 children. ”If just us eight girls can save 48 children, imagine what others can do!” Stern says.
The girls decided it was time to make a difference in the United States, too: they now work with the Remote Area Medical Foundation, whose doctors and dentists provide free medical care to uninsured Americans in rural areas. “There are many teenagers who are socially aware and want to do something,” Mantikas says. “They just don’t know how to do it. But if you’re dedicated to something, others will join you.”