UNICEF, Light-Up support, raise awareness of causes

BLUEgg Chief Executive Ji-eun Lee and employee Michael Park gave a presentation to members of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) and UNICEF on Nov. 24 in order to provide students with more global opportunities for volunteer work through their smartphone application, Light-Up. Light-Up combines social networking with community service by allowing users to post their acts of kindness and obtain points for the number of “light-ups” they receive. These “light-ups” are then transferred to money that the user can  donate to a cause of their choice.

According to Lauren Ahn (11), HFH treasurer, Light-Up provides an opportunity for students to interact with other people who are engaged in similar community service activities all around the world. Though the app does have potential benefits for HFH, the executive members are hesitant as to whether or not they will use the application due to its incompatibility with the club’s purpose.

“I personally like Light-Up and it really reminds me of the social networking app, Foursquare, in that we get to upload photos to share our community service work with other people,” Lauren said. “However, the executive members and I are not sure as to whether the app creates enough incentive or motivation for members to continuously upload posts. We do think it is something to consider for the future though, especially for upcoming events such as the fashion show in the spring. If more people at SIS start to make use of [the app], it will serve as a great advertising tool.”

Starting with its trip to Cambodia this winter, UNICEF has decided to use Light-Up in order to provide members with the opportunity to connect with other UNICEF groups around the world or youth volunteer groups in Korea through the app. Executive members have also revealed hopes to raise general awareness about community service and encourage students in the SIS community to also participate in acts of compassion.

“When we first heard from Mr. Park, the executive members and I were excited to hear about Light-Up because we thought it would be a great way for us to become more interconnected with the global community,” said Eugene Yang, UNICEF co-president. “We hope to use this app to create a storyline of how active we are and reach out to people like us through technology. I will be keeping in touch with Mr. Park, as he agreed to look over our main activities and give us suggestions. I hope this project continues on so that I can see the positive effect the app has had on UNICEF and SIS when I return to visit the school after graduating.