by AMY LEHRER | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Nancy Edid, a resident of Carmel Valley for the past thirteen years, found her calling after her family moved here from Mexico City. Taught early to help others, preschooler Nancy distributed cookies to firefighters. A fifth grade Nancy and co-founder of a Darfur club made cupcakes and brownies with friends to raise money to buy solar cookers for the people of Darfur. A sixth grade Nancy helped feed the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul’s. And a ninth grade Nancy from the San Diego Jewish Academy founded her club, Helping Hearts, so she could make a difference. For the past two years the club members focused on helping the homeless and feeding the hungry. Working with an Interfaith Shelter Rotational Program in San Diego, the Helping Hearts club members bought and prepared food for homeless families who were temporarily sheltering at the Christ Lutheran Church in Pacific Beach. And just last month working with Destiny’s Hope Outreach, the club members made two hundred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to distribute.

As co-president of Helping Hearts, Nancy feels her biggest accomplishment is getting many people involved. Each event draws more people, Nancy believes because “they see their work appreciated on the spot.” Next year, Helping Hearts is expanding to Torrey Pines High School in Carmel Valley and Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista. Nancy hopes that in a couple of years, “There will be a Helping Hearts Club in most high schools around San Diego County, if not in other cities as well.”

In addition to her volunteer work, Nancy enjoys playing the piano, cooking, arts and crafts, math, photography, and sports. At the age of nine her father began teaching her how to play simple songs on the piano. Her favorite subject is math because she likes to use her head to figure out tricks to finish problems quickly. And “I love to take pictures and edit them,” she explains, “because they let me get a lasting memory of that moment in my life.”

In college, Nancy plans to study business and marketing so she can combine two interests, her love of numbers and taking pictures to try to promote ideas. She also plans to continue playing the piano and start a family. It certainly won’t be a surprise to anyone if Nancy teaches her children how important it is to make the world a better place.