High School Student, Natalie Millman, plays viola to help Habitat for Humanity

Natalie Millman a student at La Serna High School in Whittier California a Youth United volunteer, and Habitat for Humanity advocate wrote the following about why she believes in Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

The people in my classes cannot understand why I often spend my lunch period standing in the center of the school courtyard, playing my fingers raw on my viola. They might notice the growing pile of loose change in my case, or the little yellow sign I present which reads "Donate to Habitat for Humanity!", but they remain sadly puzzled. It makes sense to me, to devote every moment I can spare to make a difference.

I am certain there are much more creative ways to raise money for Habitat than that which I have utilized, playing viola for the loose nickels and quarters of passersby. Nevertheless, one of the talents I best utilize is the production of music. I could do other thing like run a marathon or host a dance, and I have done them before, but I prefer instead to stand in a noticeable place and play my heart out to whoever cares to be passing by at the time. I can get up to thirty dollars in an hour, if the weather is sunny.

My school's police representative, Officer Drylie, likes to listen when I play selections from the Beatles, BJ Thomas, or Simon and Garfunkel; he also claims to be going broke because of me. Mr. Stott, my orchestra director, has given me five dollars at one time after a difficult rendition of Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca. When the school librarian passes, I play one of my favorite old songs, one of which being 'Que Sera Sera.' A friend of mine requests the 'My Heart Will Go On' theme from Titanic every time I play, and a classmate from French class finds particular amusement when I perform 'The Bear Necessities' from The Jungle Book. My repertoire varies widely, as do my listeners.

I derive a large amount of satisfaction from my efforts. I believe that as I am making the world more pleasant, dually for my listeners and for the people Habitat helps, while doing something I love, balance is added to my life, and I am inspired to do even more. Why waste a perfectly capable life from making a difference in the lives of those who need help?

If you would like to hear some of Natalie's music, visit her myspace page, or her artist website

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