This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from a teen who showed the world the importance of embracing happiness, even in the wake of darkness. 18 year old Zach Sobiech passed away early this week after a 4 year battle with osteosarcoma. But before he passed away, Zach decided to write a song as a goodbye to his friends and family, which touched the lives of millions of people when it went viral on YouTube. Zach inspired and continues to inspire children and adults to always maintain a positive outlook. His girlfriend Amy said:
“He’s shown me it’s not all about the grades you get, or how cool you are in high school. It’s about doing what makes you happy and no matter when you’re going go to, live life to the fullest every day.”
You can watch an emotional documentary on Zach’s journey here. His family started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to support research into Zach’s rare form of cancer, so click the link to find out how you can lend your support. We are sending love to Zach’s family and friends. We are inspired by his message and think he epitomizes a Random Act of Kid-ness.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Cincinnati, OH, where a group of kids from Piner Elementary School started a program to raise money for children with cancer. Since many of the kids know people who have cancer or who have lost their lives to cancer, they wanted to help out. They started with a program called Change Wars, where the students brought in change to raise money, and then they started selling hair bows. That fundraiser earned over $300 for children living with cancer.
There’s a Monkey in My Chair is a program that the students developed. Stuffed monkeys sit in their classrooms to represent kids who are in the hospital. “It reminds you that friend with cancer needs support, in school or outside it. ‘Having the monkey there, the kids can interact with the monkey, they can write letters to the monkey, and take pictures of the monkey doing silly stuff, in the room or where the children normally would be in. It makes the children think they are still there and that they care about them.’”
Some of the students at Piner Elementary have said:
“I feel really proud. I love helping people and I couldn’t find a way to until Koryn did, and that’s why I really wanted to do it.”
”I think if they pictured themselves and they wouldn’t want someone to not help them.”
”I feel proud that we helped them.” The teachers and staff here do too.
What a thoughtful program! We love this idea. To read more about There’s a Monkey in My Chair, click here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Philadelphia, PA where first grader Ella Wilson brings food and blankets to the homeless people in her city every Thursday on her way to chemotherapy. Ella is getting treatment for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerves. But to take her mind off her year-long treatment, she has decided to focus on making other people happy.
You can watch an inspiring video about Ella’s story and learn how you can help her raise money for neurofibromatosis research on her Facebook page here.
As always, we ask for your suggestions for our next RAK. Do you know someone who is doing random acts of kindness? Let us know!
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Louisville, KY where 8 year old Aiden Johnson and his family are in charge of their local chapter of Legos for Leukemia. The organization was started in 2009 by Christian Flanders in Denver, CO to honor the memory of his father, and “as a way to give kids fighting cancer and other life threatening diseases a fun and creative way to deal with not so fun days that include chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.” Legos take chemotherapy off the minds of children with Leukemia, like Aiden, who calls himself a Lego Master. Aiden’s mom says:
“It has taken his mind off the fact that he has cancer. It really has made a difference in the way treatments go. The long days and the long nights, we come in and we’re prepared. We have Legos and we’re ready to be here for a week.”
Because Aiden loves Legos so much and wants other children with cancer to experience the same joy he does, he and his family decided to head the Legos for Leukemia chapter at Kosair Children’s Hospital. People can donate new unopened Lego sets at drop off locations all over the area. So far, Aiden’s family has collected 50 Lego sets, but they still need many more.
We think this is such a great cause and are inspired by Aiden’s kindness. To read more about this story and to find out how to donate Legos, click here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Fairfield, OH where 10 year old Ashton Isler decided to forego birthday presents this year. Instead, he asked his party guests to donate money to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League, which is a baseball league for children and adults with special needs. Baseball is Ashton’s favorite sport, and when he heard about the Miracle League project while watching a Reds game last summer, he wanted more people to be able to enjoy it as much as he does. He said:
“I didn’t really need anything else. I want to do it again (this year) [...] I am so happy that other children with challenges can play this game too.”
In response to Ashton’s efforts, Fairfield Mayor Ron D’Epifanio proclaimed Tuesday Ashton Isler Day and made him honorary mayor for the day. Kim Nuxhall of the Miracle League presented Ashton with a character education poster signed by former Reds Sean Casey and a certificate from the Reds good for tickets for an April game.
What a wonderful way to give back! To read more about this great story, click here.
Open Door Days at the Zimmer
While all children and families are always welcome at the Zimmer, the museum opens on special days exclusively for families with children with special needs. At the Zimmer, we are committed to making quality play and learning experiences available to all children. While the Zimmer works diligently to provide inclusive programs every day, our Open Door Days combine special considerations regarding cost and ‘busy-ness’ of the museum with an understanding community. Our hope is that visiting the museum is enjoyable for all families, and Open Door Days serves as another option so that all families in the city may play and learn together at the Zimmer.
To learn more about our Open Door Days and make your free reservation for the next one on February 18, click here.
Open Door Days are generously sponsored by CVS Caremark.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Irvine, where 10 year old Jessica Carscadden came up with the We Care Bears Project that gives stuffed animals to first responders to hand out to scared or hurt children who they meet on the job. Jessica was abandoned in China when she was little because of a facial defect. She was adopted by a US couple, and she now wants to give back to children in need.
This week, Jessica delivered 75 bags of stuffed animals to the Orange County Fire District!
To watch a video about this story, click here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Milwaukee, WI, where 7 year olds David Torres and Exavier Navejar at H.W. Longfellow Elementary School gave one of their classmates a gift after finding out he did not get any Christmas gifts. David decided to wrap a book and race car from his house, and Exavier drew a picture and wrapped it. They gave the presents to their classmate on the Friday after winter break. The classmate cried when he unwrapped, and said it felt good to get gifts. The principal of the kids’ school said:
“These kids have so little themselves, but they still found a way to give.”
What an inspiring story! You can read more about it here.
What if you could change the world with just 2 bucks?
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Portland, OR, where 14 year old Julien Leitner created a website called the Archimedes Alliance. Through this website, Julien’s goal was to ask 1 million people for just $2 each, with a goal of raising $2 million for different charities. Since he started over a year ago, every six months the Alliance has reached (and will, for 3 years) out to 1 million different people asking for the $2 donation. At the end of each six month period, all the money raised is donated to an organization selected by the contributors, and then the cycle begins again.
Julien has raised over $20,000 so far! You can read more about Julien and his idea here.
As always, we ask for your suggestions for our next RAK highlight. If you or someone you know is doing great things to change the world, we want to know!
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Mississippi, where students from DeSoto Central Middle School raised money to send 92 year old World War II veteran Hulan Roberts back to the Belgian countryside where he fought during the war in 1944. With the help of Forever Young, a program that reunites WWII veterans with their comrades, the students raised over $4,400 through fundraisers like a spaghetti dinner and silent auction.
What a wonderful way to honor someone! You can read more about this story here.
It’s been such a great year of RAKs! Thanks to those who follow our weekly posts, and we can’t wait to highlight more acts of kindness in 2013! Happy new year!