It’s easy sometimes to get a little bit gloom and doom. Whether we’re reading about BPA in cash register receipts or toxins in our dryer sheets, we can get overwhelmed with what’s wrong about our culture.
When it starts to feel like things are a bit hopeless, it helps so much to remember that there are great things going on all the time, too! These amazing kids fill me with hope, and I thought they might do the same for you.
1. Katie Stagliano
Katie’s Krops is a nonprofit organization that grows fresh produce for local soup kitchens. Founder Katie Stagliano is 11 years old, and she’s been at it since she was in third grade!
It all got started when she grew a 40 pound cabbage. Producing that much food on her own inspired her to use her gardening skills to help folks in need. Since she got started in 2008, Katie and her team of gardeners have grown over 2 tons of food to help the hungry!
CNN recently interviewed Katie about her project and what’s she’s got in the works. Here’s the video:
You can learn more about Katie on the Katie’s Krops website.
2. Dylan Mahalingam
Fourteen-year-old Dylan is a New Hampshire boy who used to travel with his parents to India when he was younger. He was appalled at the poverty he saw, especially how it affected other children, and he wanted to make a difference. After he was particularly upset by a trip, his sister told him about the UN Milennium Development Goals.
He launched Lil’ MDGs in 2004 when he was still in elementary school with a mission to help end poverty and suffering. Since then, kids from 34 states and 40 countries have joined his organization. They tackle issues from HIV to improving education.
Here is Dylan talking about the Millennium Development Goals and how Lil’ MDGs is working to meet those goals:
Dylan is telling his story through Changents. Over there, you can see what Lil’ MDGs is up to and how you can help!
3. Carrick McCullough
In 2009, Carrick and his family traveled the U.S. in a vegetable oil-powered vehicle to raise awareness about alternative fuels. They visited wind and solar power plants and scientists studying new alternatives to fossil-based fuels.
They’re documenting their travels over at Our Renewable Nation with a series of videos to educate kids about living more sustainably. In this video, Carrick interviews Jeff Cresswell from Klean Kanteen on ditching plastic water bottles:
4. Andrew Castle
Back in 2008 when he was 9 years old, Andrew Castle started selling hats that he knit himself to help fight hunger. Since then, his organization, Hats for Hunger, has grown exponentially!
There’s now a team of kids working to knit hats and sell Hats for Hunger’s other goods to raise money for Heifer International, an organization that helps needy communities by providing them with training and livestock so that they can sustain themselves.
One of the team members is 9-year-old Hannah, who is an avid knitter. She unravels reclaimed sweaters for yarn and has donated dozens of hats to the project. Here is Hannah talking about Hats for Hunger:
5. David Ashby
At age 14, David Ashby decided to walk from his home in Orlando, Florida to Washington DC to help the homeless. During the 1100 mile walk last summer, he stopped at homeless shelters along the way to meet the children who stayed there and help give them a voice.
You can read about David’s experiences on this journey on his blog. While Helping Step By Step is not seeking donations right now, you can do your part to help the homeless by donating to shelters in your community or to Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, David’s charity of choice.
Do you guys know of any kids that are making a difference? Share your inspiring stories in the comments!