Zach Ebers, 15,
St. Louis, Mo.
Zach founded "Breakfast
Bonanza," a breakfast cereal drive designed to help feed children who don't
otherwise get breakfast during the summer when school meal programs are
not available. For the past three years, Zach has directed "Breakfast Bonanza,"
leading 25 schools, churches and business in collecting 5,000 boxes of
cereal, which provides assistance to 10 regional food pantries.
15, Natick, Mass.
After learning that
many children enter foster care with only the clothes on their backs, Erin
created and launched "Erin's Afghans Plus" and "The Essential Care Packet
Project." She leads a group of over 400 volunteers in providing a carrying
case, toiletries, and a book in custom bags that she designed to children
in foster care. To date, she has created and distributed 2,225 essential
care packets and 1,995 afghans.
13, East Brunswick, N.J.
Craig created "The
Happy Birthday Foundation," which enables children in homeless shelters
to have birthday parties. He has helped bring parties to over 170 children
in the past two years and doesn't plan to stop until each child in the
homeless shelter system has a "Happy Birthday."
10, Pottstown, Pa.
Inspired by her own
experience with a trip to the emergency room, Jodie created a program called
"Hospital Hugs" to comfort children during their stay in emergency rooms
by giving them teddy bears. In four years, she has raised $15,000 and donated
over 2,000 teddy bears to emergency rooms in her community.
13, San Antonio, Texas
Over the past three
years, Clayton and his "Backyard Crew" have brought Christmas joy to approximately
400 children by rebuilding old and discarded bikes and distributing them
to children of prisoners. Clayton and his organization, "Clayton's Backyard
Crew," have spent countless hours to make these children happy with the
gift of a bike.
14, Lawrenceville, Ga.
For the past three
years, Lauren has participated in "Relay For Life," a program that supports
the American Cancer Society (ACS). Her "Kidz-for-a-Kure" team, which
she recruited and organized, has raised over $57,000 for ACS's "Relay For
Life." She has also traveled across the country to present fundraising
ideas at ACS Youth Summits.
14, Atlanta, Ga.
Over the past five
years, Matt has organized an annual "Adopt-a-Child" program that has provided
more than 100 children from group homes with hundreds of dollars and gifts.
In addition, after the September 11th tragedy, Matt organized a fundraising
project with a three-day donation drive and car wash, raising over $4,000
to help victims.
14, Long Beach, Calif.
Chanel started her
own program called "Sharing Caring Giving," through which she has gathered
and donated hundreds of new blankets to children in hospitals, shelters
and to needy families. Chanel also spends her time hosting parties in rehabilitation
centers, as well as collecting books and stuffed animals for ill children.
10, Wildomar, Calif.
Shane donates much
of his free time to assist orthopedic and multiple disabled students. He
spends regular instructional time assisting these special education students
and helps them participate in outdoor recess.
10, New York, N.Y.
Lorraine is dedicated
to community service activities with Fresh Youth Initiatives. Over the
past year, she has volunteered more than 340 hours of her time sewing sleeping
bags for the homeless, serving hot meals at soup kitchens, and removing
graffiti from local buildings.
13, Murells Inlet, S.C.
Welland was just
six when he learned that children in foster care typically move three to
four times, carrying their personal belongings from home to home in black
plastic garbage bags. Today, through his worldwide non-profit organization
Suitcases for Kids, Welland provides foster children with both a suitcase
and a sense of dignity during moves.
R.J. "Ponce" Field,
9, Riverside, Calif.
R.J. solicits corporate
donations as a "child representative" for a foster parents association
and collects contributions to pay for handicapped children's
During the holidays, he gathers and distributes gifts for less fortunate
12, Birmingham, Ala.
Katye turned her
9-year battle with cancer into a triumph by writing a book based on her
life to encourage other cancer patients and to help children understand
cancer. Portions of the book's proceeds go to Camp-Smile-A-Mile, an Alabama
camp for children living with cancer.
Ashlie Drew Story,
12, Mission, S.D.
Each year, Ashlie
accumulates, wraps and distributes more than 600 gifts, many of them her
own, to children on the reservation where she lives. She has also collected
more than 700,000 pop tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
10, East Amherst, N.Y.
Within seven years,
Carly lost both of her parents to cancer, and was herself diagnosed with
brain cancer. Today, she is actively involved in Carly's Club, a charity
she created to help find a cure for childhood cancer, which has raised
more than $250,000.
Theresa Lynn Parkman,
11, Lake Worth, Fla.
Patti Parris, 12,
Granite Falls, N.C.
Bethany Grace Essary,
4, Oaks, Okla.
Danielle Lee, 9,
11, Cary, N.C.