torsdag 10. juli 2014

People innovating and helping others at the same time

The Top Five Kindness Finalists 
After a mission trip to Africa, Emma was inspired to created a shoe drive to help fund clean water initiatives. Quenching Souls has not only collected more than 80,000 pairs of shoes, but has kept 40 tons of shoes out of landfills.  The proceeds have funded clean water for 37 communities around the world.

At 16 years old, Valerie Weisler is already achieving phenomenal things. Her non-profit, The Validation Project, helps teens use their unique talents to change the world for the better. “It’s incredible and amazing to be who you are and to do what you love to do,” shares Valerie. To date, Valerie has worked with more than five thousand young people and raised more than $250,000 worth of items for people in need.

Inspired by the death of a classmate, killed by another driver who was texting, Matthew and his brother set out to educate their own school about the dangers of texting and driving – a top killer of teens in the United States. This led to a bigger mission – teach every teen in the state of Massachusetts to stop distracted driving. In just 18 months, Matthew has reached 70,000 teens and counting.

Jessica Levy wanted to get her whole community involved in and celebrating service. So, she and her high school Students In Action team initiated a service week and recognition gala.  Their impact?  A doubling of service hours in Washington Township, NJ, thousands of letters sent to veterans and thousands of dollars for veterans, seniors, and locals with life-threatening illnesses.  In Jessica’s words, “The Celebration of Service Gala brought commitment to community service and pride in helping others to an entirely new level throughout our entire town. We see ourselves differently now.”
At age 11, Sierra dedicated herself to raising money and awareness for Forgotten Cats (FC), a cat rescue operating in DE, PA, MD, and NJ. Sierra’s non-profit, Autumn Leaf Fundraisers knits, crochets, sews, weaves and makes jewelry, sells the items and donates 100% of the proceeds to Forgotten Cats.  Over the last five years, Sierra’s efforts have provided medical care to 6,300 cats.

After seeing a homeless man and telling his mother he wanted to help, this then-4 year old created an organization to collect and donate healthy food to those in need.  Now age 13, Joshua has gotten 600,000 pounds of food donated, has served 120,000 meals, raised over $350,000 and has taught countless low income families how to prepare a healthy meal, how to eat more vegetables and fruits in their diets.


After helping to care for his great-grandmother with Alzheimer’s, this entrepreneurial young inventor wanted to make a difference – so he designed a a line of therapeutic puzzles made specifically to meet the needs of Alzheimer’s patients. Max was 11.  At age 17, Max’s puzzles have been adopted by Springbok, has gotten more than 30,000 therapeutic puzzles to Alzheimer’s sufferers and facilities and has impacted over 200,000 lives.

Adan Gonzalez never stops.  He has three jobs to help support his family of seven. He is the U.S. Intercollegiate Boxing Champion.  He is a student at Georgetown University.  And he founded the Si Se Puede Network to help disadvantaged students pursue the dream of college.  This young man has helped more than 100,000 students and their parents become educated about scholarships and the importance of higher education.  “I’ve learned that with the opportunities I receive, I’m able to create more opportunities for others. That was the whole point of the Si Se Puede Network. I’m no longer this poor Mexican kid with dreams. I’m a Georgetown student with goals.”

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