If you and your family have become more involved in your community or a specific cause, many times it leads to greater connection and dedication to the cause. If you’ve found yourself looking for even more ways to become involved in volunteer opportunities, what are your options?
For adults, joining the board of directors or donating money to philanthropic organizations are options to consider. But what opportunities are there for kids?
If they’re truly inspired and creative, they can start their own charity. Yes, it can be done. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
The following are five amazing nonprofit organizations that were founded by kids and can serve as inspiration for your family.
When Hannah Taylor was five years old she watched a homeless man eat out of a garbage can and a woman push her belongings down the street in a cart. Hannah was saddened by the fact that people were homeless. She learned what she could about homelessness, and, with the help of her parents, the Ladybug Foundation was formed. It is a Canadian non-profit that advocates, educates, fund raises, and donates to support the homeless population.
At 12, Craig Kielburger read a story about a former child slave in Pakistan who dared to speak up about human rights and was murdered. Craig and his brother Mark, wanted to ensure that other kids in the world didn’t suffer the same fate. They started their nonprofit in the hopes to free children and their families from exploitation and poverty around the world.
What happens when two nine-year-old best friends living in Costa Rica become passionate about saving the rainforest? They start a non-profit to do just that. Not only does Janine Licare and Aislin Livingstone’s foundation offer education, but the organization also sets up programs to preserve and protect both the rainforest and the wildlife that lives within in it.
Jonas Corona volunteered at the homeless shelter with his family every month starting at the age of six. He was struck not only by what the children lacked in material goods, but what they lacked in self-esteem. His mantra, “Every child should look in the mirror and love what they see,” launched a non-profit dedicated to serving disadvantaged youth through donation and leadership programs.
Similar to Jonas, Mackenzie Bearup and her brothers donated their time to homeless shelters. As avid readers, they noticed that most families that end up in shelters only have the clothes on their back. Since they launched in 2007, the organization has collected and donated over 460,000 books to homeless shelters and residential treatment centers across the country.
All of these organizations started with a few passionate kids with a strong desire to help a specific community. Volunteering is a wonderful experience, but for those who want to dedicate their lives to a cause, think about starting a non-profit, just like these kids and their families.