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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 September, 2002: 
Georgia-Pacific Angel Soft® Angels in Action® Award Winners, U.S.A.!

Quotes of the Month: 

"As a mom of two, I hope my children grow up to be as community-conscious as these wonderful role models."

Kelly Ripa, actress
Live! with Regis and Kelly

Do you know what it means to be "community-conscious?"  This month's Amazing Kids! of the Month winners have all done something amazing to help others in their local communities.  Each of these amazing kids found something that they could do to help others in need.  That's why they were chosen to be the Georgia-Pacific's Angel Soft® Angels in Action® winners.

Read all about these "angels" below, and who knows?  Maybe you'll get a heavenly idea to start your own community service project...If you do, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it too, by nominating yourself for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award!

Table of Contents 

About the Angel Soft® Angels in Action® Program
Amazing Angels in Action
Related Links

About the Angel Soft Angels in Action Program

Amazing Angels in Action receiving their awards 
from Kelly Ripa, co-host of Live! with Regis and Kelly

Sponsored by Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Consumer Products Division,  the Angel Soft® Angels in Action® Awards Program is a national campaign that rewards U.S. children, ages 8-15, who perform exemplary acts of service to benefit a community, charity or cause. Kelly Ripa, co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly, is the spokesperson for the Angel Soft Angels in Action program.

Entries are judged based on the nominee's dedication to his or her community, charity or cause.  Each Angel is awarded $5,000, recognition for their good deeds and a year's supply of Angel Soft bath tissue.

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Amazing Angels in Action 

Here are the inspiring stories about the Angels in Action winners, as they appear on the Georgia-Pacific, Angel Soft Angels in Action website (

2002 Winners

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.

Erin Rosen-Watson, 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.

Craig Wolsten, 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."

Jodie Leyfert, 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.

Clayton Lillard, 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.

Lauren Wilbourn, 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.

Matthew Westmoreland, 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.

Chanel Suares, 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.

Shane Saunders, 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.

Lorraine Mercado, 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.

2001 Winners

Welland Burnside, 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
physical therapy. During the holidays, he gathers and distributes gifts for less fortunate children.

Katye Jackson, 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.

Carly Collard-Cottone, 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.

2000 Winners
  • Theresa Lynn Parkman, 11, Lake Worth, Fla.
  • Patti Parris, 12, Granite Falls, N.C.
  • Bethany Grace Essary, 4, Oaks, Okla.
  • Danielle Lee, 9, Arlington, Texas
  • Jessica Zagarella, 11, Cary, N.C.

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The Georgia-Pacific Angel Soft Angels in Action

The 2002 Angel Soft Angels in Action Winners:

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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:


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: .


  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


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