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Kids Helping Kids: Hope and Change Through Fundraising

There’s nothing like a presidential election to bring out the childish sides of adults. From trashy political ads prefacing the event to bigoted tweets in its wake, progress and hope for America are not always assured.

Amid this post-election landscape of divisiveness and uncertainty, two people who aren’t even old enough to vote are enacting change on GiveForward.

Casey Brown, a ten-year-old from Maryland, enlisted the aid of fellow 3rd graders to raise money for their former teacher, “Mrs. M.” When Anne Mekalian tragically lost all four limbs as a result of sepsis, Casey and her classmates pooled their resources in a campaign to empower their beloved teacher.

Since starting their GiveForward page, Driving Mrs. M, the third grade students have raised $21,160 and cheered on Mrs. M as she learned how to utilize her prosthetic limbs and ultimately pass her driving test this past September. Casey, the mastermind of their efforts, will be honored this Friday with the 2012 Outstanding Youth in Fundraiser Award at her school.

Another example of kids helping kids is Tony Colton, a thirteen-year-old from Florida.   Tony is making a difference by using GiveForward. While undergoing treatments at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Tony met Ashley Krueger, a young woman originally diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. As Tony’s treatments helped him get better, he was dismayed as physicians discovered an inoperable mass and diagnosed Ashley with a second cancer, T-cell lymphoma.

Motivated to alleviate the financial burden of his friend and her family, Tony launched a series of offline events, such as a car wash, in conjunction with an online fundraiser for Ashley. To date, his GiveForward page, Ashley’s Journey, boasts $5,635 and plenty of inspiring virtual hugs.

Tony and Casey demonstrate that the ability to help someone knows neither age nor political affiliation. As we grapple with our adult stresses and unpredictable futures, there is much to learn from the simple, selfless actions of kids helping other kids in need.

Whose world will you change?