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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 



Amazing Kids! of the Month for December, 2003: 
Amazing Young Founder/Executive Director, Erin Rosen-Watson, Erin's Helping Hands, Natick, Massachusetts!


Amazing 16 year-old Erin Rosen-Watson of Natick, Massachusetts
with some of her gift bags containing afghans for foster care children


Quotes of the Month: 


"My original goal was to deliver 1,500 blankets, bears and books to 50 emergency shelters on Make a Difference Day- October 25,2003. On that date, thanks to hundreds of volunteers, 1,618 blankets, bears and books were delivered to 51 shelters all across Massachusetts."

"The success of the programs isn’t measured in cash donations or bags of yarn. It’s the hours of work put in by more than 400 volunteers across the country. And of course the biggest success is when the afghans and bags are in the hands of the kids who need them."

Erin Rosen-Watson,age 16
Amazing Founder/Executive Director,
Erin's Helping Hands, Natick, Massachusetts


"Thanks for your kind heart and for the smiles you brought to the children. The children love their gifts especially their warm blankets. I wish there were more young people like you with such a caring heart and such a want to help out those in need and in hard times. Again, Erin, thank you for all you have done for the family's children, for you have made a difference in these young children's lives."

Thank you note from a shelter in Western Massachusetts
that received Erin's Essential Care Packages




During the holiday season, many hearts turn to those who are in need. Amazing Kid! of the Month! for December, sixteen year-old Erin Rosen-Watson from Natick, Massachusetts has this spirit all year round! Read Erin's inspiring story below and who knows?  You may soon find yourself in the holiday spirit and wanting to become part of "Erin's Helping Hands" too!

And don't forget, if you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it!  Teachers are invited to nominate their entire classroom and the amazing projects they are working on too!  Simply complete a nomination form for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us!


Table of Contents 

Erin's Helping Hands
Amazing Erin Talks about the 3B's
Related Links




Erin's Helping Hands


Amazing Erin Rosen-Watson,
founder, Erin's Helping Hands

Sixteen year-old Erin Rosen-Watson is the founder and director of her own non-profit organization called "Erin's Helping Hands," based in Natick, Massachusetts. In addition to countless hours of work spent organizing numerous community service projects, Erin is a nationally ranked rhythmic gymnast (16th in the country!) and spends several hours a week practicing. She will be leaving next month to train in Russia at their Olympic Training Center!

Community service has been part of Erin's life since she was very young. Before founding Erin’s Helping Hands, Erin was active in children's programs for the National Park Service, giving tours in historical homes, making hats for chemotherapy patients and helping in the local Park and Recreation programs.

In October, 2000 she set a goal to personalize 200 afghans for foster children. She called the project “The 3 B’s” (Blankets, Bears and Books). With the help of email and letters to area churches and clubs,she reached that goal in just 3 months! By then she had heard so many stories about foster care children, it inspired her to start another project - the Essential Care Packet Project. The purpose of this project is to provide a carrying a bag full of toiletries, a book and stuffed animal to children when they are first placed in foster care.


Erin’s Helping Hands organization has participated in several projects, including:

  • Erin's Afghans - Donations of 5,390 afghans/blankets to foster care and other needy children
  • The Three B’s (Blankets, Bears and Books) – her second Make a Difference Day project. This was a very special project for Erin because she was able to reach so many areas of Massachusetts:  51 shelters across the entire state received blankets!
  • The Essential Care Packet Project - Donations of 4,961 care packets to foster care children
  • Winter Warmth Project - Helping needy kids in New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Spring Treasures Project - Donations of gifts to teen moms and their babies for Mother's Day
  • Backpacks Are Cool - Donations of 200 fully-stocked backpacks to needy children in 2 communities
  • Make a Difference Day, 2002 - Donations of polar fleece blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children in honor of Captain Ogonowski, the pilot of Flight 11 and a victim of the 9/11 attacks (This project was especially close to Erin's heart because Captain Ogonowski was involved with 4H, as is Erin. He had a farm in Massachusetts where he gave some of his land to new immigrants to grow food. Dedicating the project to Captain Ogonowski made it a very special project for her.)

You can find out about all of these amazing projects and more on Erin's website, www.massyouthinaction.org/, where she issues a newsletter to over 1,000 email addresses. She also personally mails about 100 copies of each issue to older people that do not have computers.



Amazing Erin Talks About the "3B's"

“I don't have a mission statement for the 3B's (Blankets, Bears and Books). I have goals. Last year was the first year that I received hundreds of yards of polar fleece from Malden Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts. I wanted to do something special with the fleece so I decided to make blankets for kids. I had given thousands of hand made afghans to foster children in my state, so I looked for a new group of needy children. With some help, I was able to contact some of the family shelters. I had a goal of donating 500 blankets on Make a Difference Day and was able to donate 652!

"This summer I contacted Malden Mills to see if they could donate more fleece. They did not have exactly the same fleece as the year before, but said they would give me bags of remnants. I agreed. My dad went to Lawrence with a large U-haul and filled it with about 150 over-sized bags of fleece that completely filled our basement.

"Over the summer, I sorted and cut the fleece into child-size blankets. I also made many contacts to find people to help sew the edges. Over 100 people helped with the sewing! I set a goal of delivering 1,500 blankets to 50 shelters. As I was contacting shelters all over Massachusetts, I was also locating the people to deliver on Make a Difference Day. Not only did the volunteers offer to deliver, but also to store the blankets in their homes. My house was FULL of blankets in all stages - uncut, cut, sewn, packaged. Each completed blanket was rolled with a stuffed animal on the inside and an age-appropriate book on the outside.

"The end result was delivery of 1,618 blankets to 51 shelters!"

To find out how you can help Erin with one or more of her projects, email her at: Afghanerin@aol.com. Erin is also seeking sponsors to help cover her expenses for her travels and training in rhythmic gymnastics at the Russian Olympic training center this winter in preparation for the US Nationals Championships and hopefully, the Olympic trials!  

Amazing Kids! wishes you much success, Erin, in all of your endeavors! You are doing a great service for so many children! You are truly amazing and an inspiration to others!

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Related Links

Erin’s website: www.massyouthinaction.org/


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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!



Here's an idea you might want to try:

WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?

If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: info@amazing-kids.org

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD:

  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!

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