Lily the Bernese Mountain dog is very proud of all of her heroes. These kids
are really something - they are very active in their community and have
learned the importance of giving. You can be one of Lily's Heroes
too! Want to learn more or need some ideas? Click on "Become a Hero". Is
one of your pals doing something really cool that helps people?
Check out "Nominate a Kid".
that kids (and parents) will be inspired by these stories. Many of
these ideas can be copied and carried out right in your own neighborhood.
If you appear on our website in this section, you will be entitled to a free certificate.
378 heroes from 16 countries!
Find a Hero:
Who They Help
In May 2012, Ehlana James started collecting empty liquor bottles and cans throughout our summer trailer park. Her goal was to raise $1000 over the trailer season and to donate it to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in honour of her 9 year old friend suffering with brain tumours. Since May, Ehlana has raised $6000 from contributions and donations all over Southern Ontario.
For her birthday in May Ehlana requested donations for the annual foundation walk in lieu of gifts and raised over $200.00. This is what inspired Ehlana to help raise funds and awareness of brain tumours.
Three Tait brothers, Rory, 14; James, 12; and Charlie, 10 hockey goalies all -- noticed last summer that they have a lot of old, used but perfectly good hockey equipment piled up in their garage. They thought it should be put to better use. They also believed that many of their friends were in the same situation.
So they set out to find organizations that might need equipment to help less fortunate kids experience the thrill of hockey. Rory, a ninth grader, spearheaded the effort by making a website, finding organizations in need, and contacting area youth hockey organizations to help get the word out. In September the Tait brothers held their first annual hockey-equipment-donation-drive and had an overwhelming response.
They received a mountain of hockey gear not only from many families in the community, but from an area Hockey Store and even the New York Rangers sent several boxes! The gear has now been sorted and categorized and is ready for distribution in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. It was an amazing experience for all!
County: Fairfield Connecticut, USA School: New Canaan Country School
14-year-old Amit Dodani, who had a speech impediment till the age of 11, and was able to turn around and become one of the top public speakers in CA at his level – but more importantly, created an organization to give back. Today the organization that he created, "My Name My Story", is making a positive impact on the youth by dealing with issues like bullying, speech challenges and broken families. They have also made a tangible impact by donating over 5,500 books to local CA children’s hospitals in this summer.
A quick background: Amit was born in Northridge CA and is currently a sophomore in High School and lives in the San Fernando Valley. Throughout his childhood, he was unable to possess any sort of self-confidence because of the speech problem that he had. But everything changed when he tried out for his Mock Trial and Debate team at his school. The coaches knew about his speech issue, but they did not judge him. They believed in him even when he may not have believed in himself. Over the course of the season, he ended up winning at countless tournaments.
County: North Hills California, USA School: Chaminade College Preparotory
Priyam Patel, an 11th grade AICE student at Saint Augustine high school, saw an article in the newspaper, showing the destitute conditions that his local homeless shelter, the St. Francis House, was in. He took the initiative and decided to make an impact in his community.
Priyam spearheaded a project, called Helping Hands, to fundraise money for the St. Francis House. He decided to voluntarily bag groceries at a supermarket and collect tips, which he would donate to the shelter. After receiving approval from the supermarket and the shelter, Priyam organized the whole event. He gathered friends and local leaders, including the local commissioners and bank managers, and they made t-shirts, posters, banners, and flyers for the project. They worked for 3 days, a total of 12 hours, and collected $750 to donate to the shelter. This project really shows Priyam's altruistic nature, and serves as an inspiration for both youth and adults to make a difference in their own community.
County: St Augustine Florida, USA School: St Augustine High School
Our boys are soccer players and reading lovers, so they were completely captivated by Soccket - a power generating soccer ball. "Kick a ball, turn on a light!" They have had a reverse-lemonade stand, and stood outside city soccer camps raising money for this soccer ball to go to kids in developing countries for an off-the-grid power source that is clean and sustainable.
They've recently started (with the help of a family friend) a website to support this and the other projects they do. We are going to Thailand in November and will spend a week volunteering at an orphanage there. Uncharted Play, the makers of Soccket, is hoping to send us with some balls for the kids there!
County: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA School: Community Day School
After Tyler Armstrong returned from climbing Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the continental US at 14,505 feet), he decided that he could use his climbing abilities to help others. At a barbeque Tyler met a boy with Duchenne. Tyler was curious why the boy could not climb up stairs. We explained to him that the boy had a disease where the muscles were dying. Furthermore, we explained to him that the disease only affected boys, and was typically discovered when the boys are about 4 or 5 years old. There are an estimated 300,000 boys who suffer from Duchenne worldwide.
We arranged for Tyler to meet some more boys with Duchenne in our area. Tyler quickly became friends with 3 of the boys with Duchenne. They like to swim and play video games.
Tyler choose to team up with Cure Duchenne to help raise money and awareness for the disease.
On July 1, 2012 Tyler became the second youngest person ever to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro (19,336 feet) is the tallest mountain on the African continent. His ascent to the 19,336 ft. summit was to help raise funds and awareness for CureDuchenne.
County: Yorba Linda California, USA School: Glen Knoll
On June 25, 2012, after learning that millions of children live in modern-day slavery, 8-year-old Vivienne Harr decided to do something about it. She would “make a stand” at her lemonade stand, every day—rain or shine--until she raised $150,000 enough to free 500 child slaves through Not For Sale, a 501(c)3 organization.
On day #52, The New York Times broke the story. Then, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, The BBC World News and dozens of media from Hong Kong and Brazil to the Netherlands and Australia covered Vivienne's story. Seasoned journalists were so moved that they took pictures with Vivienne. They knew this was the beginning of something very special--and very rare. The moment became a movement. Tens of thousands of messages poured in from around the world from people who believed in something real and pure. The lemonade stand transcended the cause. Vivienne’s #MAKEASTAND! became a symbol of hope. Hope that, with a little “heart work,” each of us can do more, feel more, live more -- and change the world. After all, if an 8-year-old can do all this, what's possible for us?
"Compassion is not compassion without action.” ~Vivienne Harr, 8
Vivienne has shown that kids can be heroes, that there is no age limits on changing the world - if you just come from the heart and put in the "heart work!"
County: Marin California, USA School: Cascade Canyon
I am the volunteer of the Willow Park Ecology Centre - a volunteer managed 5 acre ecology park in Halton Hills. I am pleased to recommend Harnoor Gill for the Kids are Heroes award. He has proven to be an excellent example of what it means to help others. He is always early and works until the job is finished – helping others and cheerfully doing whatever tasks he is assigned.
He is willing to attempt tasks that many adults are not willing to try and always has a ready smile for his fellow workers and supervisors. The past month he has worked with the MNR Stewardship Rangers, surveying plots of land and learning how to identify and measure trees. He also helped to remove invasive species on the property. Even though he is much younger than the Rangers, he earned their respect and worked as an integral part of the team. He also has competed several work sessions pulling unwanted vegetation from the gardens and doing general park maintenance.
Location: Georgetown Ontario, Canada School: Christ The King Catholic Secondary
Thirteen year old Ashley Berry is a formerly shy, quiet girl who didn’t like speaking in front of people until she began looking for opportunities three years ago that allowed her to do just that. Ashley started competing in “natural” pageants (no makeup allowed) three years ago that helped improve her confidence and gave her a desire to go out into her community and make a difference. These days, there’s no telling where you’ll find her at any given time…on stage in a community play or talent competition, acting or modeling in front of the camera, volunteering for any number of organizations in the community, studying to keep her Honor Roll status, attending a club or after-school activity, or writing her latest article for BYOU “Be Your Own You” Self-Esteem Magazine for Girls.
Even in the midst of her whirlwind schedule balancing school and community activities, Ashley couldn’t escape the experience that many of today’s youth are being forced to endure. Along with the relative fame that comes with many of Ashley’s outside interests and activities came what is most often referred to as the “mean girl” syndrome. Suddenly, those closest to Ashley seemed to turn on her and her own life turned upside down as she spent the next two years battling depression and fear.
County: Jefferson Colorado, USA School: Summit Ridge Middle School
In 2011, Mia Vallely's mom was planning a trip to Tanzania, Africa to go to an african orphanage for a week.
It was 6 months before her trip and Mia was playing with her food. Her mom mentioned how many kids her left overs would feed in Africa, it was at this point she volunteered to go and work at the home. After a bit of discussion of what the trip would entail, she continued her enthuasiasm to come. So in November 2011 they set out to make their way from England to Mwansa, just outside of Tanzania. They raised approx £7,500 for the home before we traveled, taking goods they could give to the local villagers.
Mia was the youngest of the group but she quickly adapted showing such maturity for an 11 year old. Whilst there she taught in pre school and worked with children suffering from HIV, Cebral Palsy and Hydrosiphilis. She worked volunteer shifts in the baby home, playing with the children, feeding and helping the various mamma's with pre school and other activities. Mia was amazing during the trip, before and after, continuing her support for the children at Forever Angels baby home.
Back home her fund raising continues, through her charity work she has raised in excess of £2,500 for a local kids cancer hospice as well as taking part in large community run to raise funds for those less fortunate than her. I have every expectation that this early life experience will lead her to a career in the Charity sector and she is already on her way to being an amazing fundraiser.
Location: Essex, England School: Sweyne Park
Annaleise Carr became the youngest person ever to swim across Lake Ontario following the traditional Marilyn Bell route which is considered one of the most difficult open water swims in the world. She swam for almost 27 hours and did so solely to raise funds and awareness for Camp Trillium which is a camp for kids with cancer and their families.
Annaleise's goal was to raise $30,000, but as of this writing she has raised more than $150,000 and put Camp Trillium on the world map. She is an humble inspiration to young and old and her smile lights a room.
Nicolina Stine was approaching her 6th birthday in June 2012. A friend had asked her what kind of party she was going to have, Nicolina responded, "a mosquito party."
She was asked by her parents what exactly that meant, as they assumed it was going to be a "bug" themed party. She explained that "instead of getting presents she would like for the kids at her party to buy nets for the kids in Africa so they would not have to get bit by mosquitos anymore." There was 100% participation, helping Nikki raise $600.00 for her cause, which included friends and family who saw the post about what Nikki came up with on her mom's facebook page and also mailed contributions.
Nicolina first learned about "Nothing But Nets" campaign in church when she was four years old. There was a slide show presentation that showed a poverty stricken area and very sickly children and it stated statistics of malaria in these areas and how many people were dying from the disease. When she came home from church that day her parents thought she was routinely changing into play clothes, however she was emptying her piggy bank and putting all the paper money into an envelope to donate; ultimately raising $140.00 which buys 14 nets.
She began to specifically pray for the kids in Africa at bedtime, sometimes becoming tearful and asked a lot of questions. Ever since she has always held on to the images and stories and has become a little spokesperson for the issue.
County: Frederick Maryland, USA School: Oakdale Elementary
Katie Kraft is the 2012-2013 State President for the Maryland State Society Children of the American Revolution and has been a member of C.A.R. for 16 years and an active member for 14 years. The C.A.R. is a children’s organization focusing on leadership and community service. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and is currently working on her Gold Award Project (an 80-hour project which is the Girl Scout equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award). Katie also serves her church and community in many ways.
Katie's state president's project is to raise funds for the "Message from the Heart" program through the Jonathan Collins Foundation. Through this program, children of military parents are given, free of charge, a Build-A-Bear with a voice recording of their parent inside. The recordings are made by their parents before the parents deploy. After the parents deploy the children go to Build-A-Bear, pick out a bear and an outfit and have the voice recording put inside. This way, the child can always have their parent with them. She hopes to raise enough funds to provide 200 children with a bear - this is $5,000 she hopes to raise. She feels that our military children are forgotten little heroes who give us their parent to protect us.
County: Frederick Maryland, USA School: Urbana High
Teagan Stedman started Shred Kids' Cancer four years ago when he heard his friend Alex, now 17, had cancer. He wanted to help. Shred Kids' Cancer is a charity that lets kids try and do something for these other kids who are suffering. It's a way to make the kids who have cancer know that we are here for them and show them we care and give them strength.
Shred Kids' Cancer is a 501c3 and Teagan is the Chairman of the Board. He not only organizes the events, but gets lots of kids involved as well with kids on the board, to committees helping out with flyers, getting sponsors and auction items. He gives presentations to businesses to get sponsorships for events like Guitar Center and House of Blues, Farmers Insurance and MB2 Raceway as well as does speaking engagements to other kids charities like City Year LA and Boys Team Charity.
Teagan educates kids on how to hold bone marrow drives and runs them as well. He has done bone marrow drives at Vans Warped Tour and also at MusiCares at The Recording Academy in Santa Monica. He recently granted Mattel Childrens' Hospital UCLA $10,000 for pediatric cancer research.
The next event in production is a 5K run called Rock the Run. He has obtained corporate sponsors, organized the event from meeting with city officials to getting permits and he hopes to raise another $10,000 at this event and involve many kids to help support the fight against pediatric cancer.
County: Thousand Oaks California, USA School: Harvard-Westlake School
Giving back to the community with her talents has always been Jessica Wu’s greatest passion.
In the summer of 2011, she started the chamber group “On A High Note” with her younger brother Joey. The violin duo focuses on introducing classical music to disadvantaged, disabled, and long-term ill kids throughout Massachusetts but performs at general venues as well. Music has been a joy in Jessica’s life, and through sharing the magic of music with others in transformative settings, Jessica has come to appreciate music in a new way. In the summer, the violin duo plays at festivals, where they also hold lemonade stands to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation that supports pediatric cancer research. During the school year, Jessica regularly performs at special care facilities and homeless shelters, where she offers the children music lessons, using instruments collected through instrument drives.
Another of Jessica’s foremost passions is origami. She shares her love of the art with others in school, where she is the founder and captain of Origami Club, in hospitals, where she teaches paper-folding to aid rehabilitation, and in homeless shelters, where she teaches women arts and crafts to increase confidence. Recently, she has started a local chapter of Origami Salami, an organization that promotes folding for good and encourages students to study STEM subjects through exploring the art of origami.
County: Boston Massachusetts, USA School: Winsor School