At the age of 9, Taylor DeVos was watching TV and couldn't find the
remote to change the channel when a World Vision show was on, and she
decided to just sit there and watch it. After seeing how people on
developing countries lived, she wanted to help.
For her 10th birthday,
Taylor's only wish was to sponsor a child. Her parents
granted her wish and she then went online to find who she wanted to sponsor. Taylor
chose a young Haitian girl named Mesline. After sponsoring her, Taylor would
shovel sidewalks, and let the neighbors dogs out so she could buy a gift
through a catalogue for Mealines community. That's when she realized that she
could build a school!
And so began her journey of starting 1 Kid Making
A Difference. To date she has raised over $12,900 to help build a school in
a developing country. Recently Taylor has had the opportunity to speak in
front of 15,000 people at We Day Saskatchewan. She looks forward to moving on to her next projects of building homes.
Location: Porcupine Plain Saskatchewan, Canada
School: Porcupine Plain Comprehensive
The Manziaris sisters, sixteen year old Susanna and thirteen year old
Linda are an inspirational "Hero Team". Linda is the founder of a
socially conscious, an on-line jewelry store called bodybijou.com that
is committed to making a difference in the lives of young girls around the
world. Body Bijou donates 50% of net profits to Girls Helping Girls, a
non-profit organization founded by Susanna, which is dedicated to educating
vulnerable girls in the developing world.
It was a love of fashion-forward jewelry combined with a desire to
help underprivileged women that propelled the Manziaris sisters to put this
socially conscious passion to good use. A recent volunteer trip to help
build a school in Kenya changed the way they think about education and highlighted the sacrifices
that so many girls have to make just to get by. They also learned that the
low status of women is a problem that is consistent globally and that if
you educate a girl, you educate a family and the entire community and the
cycle of poverty can begin to break.
Location: Toronto Ontario, Canada
School: Havergal College
Recording artist, singer, songwriter, musician Dalton Cyr has been using
his rising celebrity and performances to help raise money for and bring
awareness to charities and social issues since he was 9 years old.
Donating his time to perform concerts at events and donating a portion of
his merchandise sales, Dalton regularly helps organizations such as Wolfson
Children's Hospital, Beaches Fine Arts Series, Duval County Schools, Clean
Water, Angels for Allison, Make-a-Wish and many others. Last year, at the
age of 12, he did his first solo event to benefit Wolfson Children's
Hospital. In addition, all of the online proceeds for his original song
"Whisper", written by Cyr and dedicated to soldiers away from their
children, are being donated to the USO.
County: Jacksonville Beach Florida, USA
School: LaVilla School of the Arts
Judith Adams, just after her 12th birthday, went to her mom and asked
to do a fund raiser collecting dimes for the organization her mom leads called "Gifts From the Heart For
Downs" to help grant wishes to those with Down Syndrome. Judy called her fund raising project "Dimes for Downs."
Judy started a Facebook page reaching out to others for help
in collecting dimes. To date and almost 3 years later, Judy has collected
142,082 dimes...to eventually be cashed in and grant wishes and needs to
individuals with Down syndrome.
Judy's goal is to collect 1 million dimes. Judy really wants to be on ELLEN and shows like 20/20 to help get the word out about what she is doing and why as she
realizes, how important it is for someone to get an iPad for communication
or a meet and great with someone special....or just a trip to Disney, that their parents cannot afford.
County: Ulster New York, USA
School: New Paltz High School
Inspired and motivated by her own medical struggles since the age of 3,
Risha Shukla understands very well the challenges of being in the hospital
room for days, staring at the bare white walls!
The Kids Who Care
Foundation (KWCF) was founded by Risha, 10 years ago, at the tender age of
7 with the help of her parents to cheer and support other children with
Pancreatitis and other chronic medical conditions.
Risha’s mission for Kids Who Care is to brighten the days at the hospital
for kids that are having major surgeries. She does this by enlisting the
help of other youth volunteers around the country through various KWCF
programs whether it is sending toys or card quilts or entertaining through
various youth talents including an anti-bullying puppet show recently
created based on Risha’s own personal experience in grade school.
Risha has spoken to over 3,000 children & adults to educate them on
Pancreatitis & Diabetes, as well as teaching children to be more caring and
compassionate towards children with chronic medical conditions. A live
webinar was also developed by Risha to educate patients and their families
from all over the world on the latest research in pancreatitis and
County: Irvine California, USA
School: Pacific Coast High School
Talia embarked on a journey with her parents to Morocco to meet her new
brother. When things got tough and her parents were ready to give up,
Talia was the cheerleader, determined to bring home all the children from
Talia did manage to bring home two brothers. She engaged and
played with all the children each and every day she was in Casablanca. She
made it her goal to bring a smile to the children at the orphanage and to
the homeless women who sat daily outside the bakery her family bought their
daily bread. She shared her food, presented flowers and acknowledged
everyone she met.
Since returning, Talia has made it a tradition to accept
donations on her birthday for milk and shoes for the children at the
orphanage. She has raised over $500 and made many children happy.
County: Los Angeles California, USA
School: Community Magnet Charter School
When Liliana Scott was 5 1/2 years old, she discovered that there are some
senior citizens who live in senior homes and who do not get to see their
family. Having her Grandparents near her daily, she became very sad and
worried for these elderly people. She decided that she would think of a way
that she could bring them joy. Realizing how much she loved making art work
and how much her family loved receiving it she decided to share some of her
art with seniors. On her 6th birthday she started her program "Lilly's
Cheerful Grammy Grams" where she would create and then take her artwork to
lonely seniors. The artwork of course was the icebreaker to the cheerful
This year Liliana received a Kohl's Cares award for her work in giving
out 1000 self created paintings to seniors. In addition, she has
recruited other children including Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops to
participate in the project and has received art supply donations in the
community from donors who are aware of her program.
County: Sparrows Point Maryland, USA
Jessica Waters is a hero because she took being diagnosed with a life threatening
disability and turned into helping others. She raises money to send kids to
summer camp. Since being epileptic means not always getting to do what
other kids do, riding bike, swimming and horseback riding, camp allows kids
to do this with out the fear they are being stared at or being made fun of.
They can be themselves and find confidence in the diagnosis and learn that
there is nothing wrong with them, and they can do anything if they set
their mind to it.
Jessica has almost 800 volunteer hours and has a goal of
reaching 1,000 by graduation. Through "Cupcakes for Camp" her mission is
simple, help bring awareness to epilepsy, send kids to camp to have some
fun and encourage other teens to give back and volunteer.
County: Greene Ohio, USA
School: Beavercreek High School
“Eco” Erek Hansen is a thirteen year old recycling advocate that is in
the 8th grade at Fassett Jr. High School. He loves to find new ways to
keep useful items out of the landfill. An article he read in 2009 sparked
his interest in recycling denim jeans and has led to collecting over 15,000
items of denim that have been kept out of the landfill. This translates
into enough denim to insulate over 30 homes with UltraTouchTM Denim
insulation in just five summers.
In 2011, he added shoes to his recycling
mission and has kept 7,000 pairs of shoes out of the landfill. By holding
recycling drives, he hopes to spread awareness of the ability to recycle
items that may otherwise just get thrown away.
County: Lucas Ohio, USA
School: Fassett Jr. High School
Nicholas Lowinger is a selfless and humble young man, who fights tirelessly for the
equality of homeless children. Since 2010, through his non-profit
organization, Gotta Have Sole Foundation, Nicholas has donated brand-new
footwear to over 10,000 children living in homeless shelters in 21 states
within the US. His goal is to expand his program into 4 additional states
by year's end, and into at least 10 more states by the end of 2014.
Over 1000 volunteers of all ages from his community in RI and from all over
the country have joined Nicholas in his cause, holding shoe and sock
drives, packaging footwear, making personalized cards, and delivering the
footwear either with Nicholas or along with members of their Boy Scout
Troops, schools and religious organizations. Nicholas has presented at
national conferences, been featured on the Today Show and has received
numerous awards, highlighting his volunteer efforts. His most important
reward has been the smiles on the children's faces when they are wearing
their new shoes! It has been his greatest joy knowing he is helping them
be able to attend school regularly and participate in social and sports
programs with their peers, all because they have new shoes to call their
County: Cranston Rhode Island, USA
School: Wheeler School
Guru Vishnu Mathivanan is an eco hero and has done environmental
activities from his age of four. He has given awareness speech about
global warming with his hand made charts, drawings, ppts etc. more than one
hour continuously and insisting tree plantation wherever he goes. He has
traveled many places, schools and colleges to deliver his speech. He has received
many awards and rewards for his environmental activities. On my every
birthday he gifts me a wonderful sapling. On my view he is my hero and I
too follow his instructions and do environmental works with him. Guru's aim is to make the world full of peace, green and clean.
Guru has spoken to more than 200000 people including students and donated and planted more than 50000 saplings to all. He has done his
environmental activities in his school holidays and on important days
like Earth day etc. in order to bring the awareness to all.
The year before last year he went to South Korea to attend the
conference in which he is the winner of the global youth forum. All expenses were covered by the Korea Green Foundation and Samsung Electronics.
Guru is an eco hero for all in our country. He is
featured in the kids magazine "Chutti Vikatan". His news is published in
the newspapers too. He spends his own money for his projects. Guru Vishnu is a true hero!
Location: Tamilnadu, India
School: Edison G Agoram Memorial School
Param Shah and his organization, the Lotus Life Foundation, are working in
the Himalayas and other rural areas of India to provide proper medical
treatment and equipment to people that have disabilities, diseases, and
The people in these rural parts of India live below the poverty line, and
those with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or other illnesses are not
able to pay for medical attention. Param and his organization unites other
volunteers, children and adults to hold fundraisers and drives to raise
money to make sure that these people receive the proper medical equipment
and treatment that they need. This includes raising money to purchase
different types of medical equipment, such as Cerebral Palsy chairs,
prostethic limbs, calipers, or air/water bags, as well as transporting them
to a medical facility where they can receive medical treatment.
He and his organization are currently working on a project to help 37
people in several Himalayan villages surrounding Sidhbari, India. He has
worked to identify these peoples' illnesses and is currently helping them
attain the medical attention they need. He is also working in the villages
of Kunjveri and Chonda in the state of Gujurat, India, to support schools
for blind children.
County: Irvine California, USA
School: Northwood High School
Summer loves helping people and being artistic...and she found a way to
combine both of these skills! She joined her older brother Jaevin's Wonderful
Wishes Team last year at the age of 6 as a "toy advisor" and helps choose
gifts for families needing assistance for their children's birthdays. She
also designed a birthday card for the boys to sell to raise money for their
After attending Kids Are Heroes Day in 2012, Summer wanted to make
sure she, and other kids around the world, could afford to participate and
she designed a special KIDS ARE HEROES birthday card. The proceeds will
help cover the cost for the Wonderful Wishes Team to attend Kids are Heroes
Day, and then she wants to donate to KAH specifically for those needing
some assistance to attend the big day!
Location: Welland Ontario, Canada
School: Alexander Kuska
When Armani Mcfarland was 8 years old and in 3rd grade they were learning about kids
who go to bed hungry in school, she came home that day and asked her mom if
she could do a food drive to help give those kids food.
After talking her
mom into it she placed bins throughout the community and passed out flyers
letting people know what she was doing by the end of the food drive she had
collected nearly 1000 lbs of food for the needy. Soon after that she hosted
a backpack and school supply drive and collected 190 backpacks filled with
supplies for kids in need. 1 month later she collected coats and ended up
with 460 new and used coats to donate.
Armani is just finishing up her 2nd
annual backpack and school supply drive and this year has 510 backpacks to
give to kids who wouldn't otherwise have a backpack. She was awarded as
young philanthropist of northern Utah for 2013. This girl has such a big
heart and doesn't want any child to have to go without.
County: Weber Utah, USA
School: Majestic Elementary
Around Tey’s 7th birthday in April this year, we were dropping off
donations at a local Good Will. Tey asked if any of his toys were in the
donations. I said no but that before his birthday he should go through his
toys to see what he could give away & that he really didn’t need anything
for his birthday. His response was, “I want shoes.” Since I had just
gotten Tey a new pair of shoes I was a little irritated & asked “how many
pairs of shoes do you need Tey” & his response was “I want shoes for
kids who don’t have any.” (Can you hear the crickets chirping?!) Once
I was able to talk, I asked where he had gotten the idea & he sid from a
story on Disney where a girl had collected 300 pairs of shoes. Tey’s
goal - he wanted to collect 500 pairs of shoes!
I anticipated Tey changing his mind about what he wanted for his birthday &
decide he’d want gifts as his birthday approached however I am proud to
say that he never wavered from wanting to give rather than wanting to
receive! We started researching & together we found Soles4Souls. Tey was
very interested because his wish was for kids to have shoes & Soles4Souls
gave statistics on the number of kids without shoes. It drove Tey’s
desire to want to help even more. (Approximately 300 million children in
the world do not have shoes.)
County: Manassas Virginia, USA
School: Weems Elementary
Copyright © 2013 Kids Are Heroes, Inc. All Rights Reserved.