Kids and teens as community helpers

Welcome to another week of Kid’s Corner with me, Angelique! It’s never to early (or too late) to start making a difference. It’s natural to want to be able to help when you see people struggling, or wanting to improve your community into a place where everyone can thrive.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’

-Mister Rogers

You too can be a helper in the world! I’m going to share stories about local Colorado kids and teens like you who were compelled to make things better in not only in their communities but the world. They created projects and participated in programs to help others, inspiring those around them to get involved. Last week we talked about the ripple effect that kindness and paying it forward can have.

A great place to jump start your inspiration is the U R Loved Project, founded by Rylan Coleridge (age 9) from Parker. Check out #kidscanhelptoo and U R Loved on Facebook. This site is a great way to find volunteer opportunities where you live and start making a difference.

Learn about the work Lowry kids Lucas (age 8) and Logan Turner (age 7) do with Feeding Denver’s Hungry and Urban Peak. They hand out meals to folks who need it, especially in areas where there is a lot of food insecurity.

Meet Hannah Mitchell (age 19) from Colorado Springs, who founded Project Reason after tragically losing her best friend to suicide. See how even in the depths of grief and loss positive change can happen.

There is also Olivia Goodreau (age 15) from Denver, who, after getting diagnosed with Lyme disease, started a campaign to raise awareness and funds. She is the founder of LivLyme Foundation, raises money for research, and helps educate about prevention.

Andrew Ellis (age 13) from Arvada took the initiative to get grants and funding to have a “ninja warrior”-style playground built. He learned what it takes to garner support and money to bring a much needed play area to his neighborhood.

Madhvi Chittor (age 8), also from Arvada, was called to contribute to the climage change movement by bringing awareness and education about pollution, in particular related to how plastic and styrofoam kill animals. Alongside her mother, Madhvi founded the organization Madhvi 4 Eco Ethics.

There are many organizations where kids can volunteer their time and creativity. Teaming up with an organization that calls to you, whether it is to feed the community, work with animals, or work on behalf of the environment, you can connect with a group already doing the work; don’t feel you have to start your own organization. There are wonderful groups out there that need volunteers to continue providing much needed support to those in need.

I look around and feel hope when I see youth taking it upon themselves to make difficult situations better. Young people can and do make a difference…passion goes a long way. Whether you’re small, big, or in-between, you have a voice and the world needs to hear it!

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