Teen’s Love for Reading Helps Early Literacy


Teen Passionate for Reading Starts Early Literacy Project


By MJ Vieweg, Staff Writer


Seventeen-year-old Rachel Ley was raised a reader.  When she entered kindergarten knowing how to read chapter books and finding out that many of her classmates did not, Rachel came to realize that her mother’s habit of reading to her early and often was the difference.

“My mother read at least ten children’s books a day with me from the time I was born until I reached kindergarten,” Rachel said.

By the time Rachel reached 6th grade, she witnessed the challenges many of her classmates had with reading.  Her service project, Literacy for Little Ones, aims to help parents start early reading habits with their children.  Since 2009, Literacy for Little Ones has send nearly 550 book packages home with families of the babies born at nine hospitals in Wisconsin (including a hospital in Nicaragua located in a sister city of one of the Wisconsin towns).The book packages include a new baby book, a letter that explains the importance of early literacy and tips on reading to newborns.

“Since the program was first established in April of 2009, approximately 10,500 babies have gone home from the hospital with a Literacy for Little Ones book package,” said Rachel.  “This summer I met one of the first recipients of the program.  Her mother told me that the book she received in her book package is still her daughter’s favorite book today.”

With a $100 grant from, book packages were provided for 80 families.  The grant sustained the program at one hospital for two months.

Read more about Rachel in her news coverage:


If you want to apply for a grant to support a project like Rachel’s or to donate to help us support click one of the buttons below

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Rainbow Pack Helps Kids With School Supplies

rainbow pack helps kids

Start A Snowball Grant Helps Kids Color a Brighter Future

By MJ Vieweg, Staff Writer

Thirteen-year-old Riley Gantt, of Sherman Oaks, California, helps kids, and turned to Start A Snowball for help closing what he calls the ‘achievement gap’ that divides students attending schools in low-income areas and their counterparts in more affluent areas.

“I started Rainbow Pack to help elementary schools that have low-income populations.  We have been told that almost all of the families we help live at or below the poverty level.  They can’t afford basic school supplies to have at home so that the kids can do their homework,” he said.

Students receive backpacks (“Rainbow Packs”) filled with all manner of school supplies necessary to complete homework assignments.  The $100 grant from Start A Snowball was used to purchase more than 200 boxes of crayons to add to the backpacks.

Since May 2014, Gantt’s organization gave out over 2200 backpacks.  A back-to-school event was organized in August 2014 to distribute the Rainbows Packs.

Help Start A Snowball build the next generation of givers and inspire others to change the world like Rainbow Pack is doing. To apply for a grant to support your project or to donate so we can keep giving these grants click the buttons below.


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Kids Lemonade Stand Makes Huge Impact

kids lemonade stand


Kids Lemonade Stand Proceeds go to Patient Party at Children’s Hospital, Books Honoring Teacher

By MJ Vieweg, Staff Writer

Two young sisters turned to for help with their lemonade stand start-up costs.  The two sisters, Mylee (6) and Maggie (7) Kervin received a grant for $100.00.

“The grant allowed us to purchase the items necessary to run the lemonade stand,” said the girls’ mother, Kim lemonade stand frozen party

Initially, the girls wanted to raise money for laminated paper doll characters of the Disney movie “Frozen” to give to patients at “Frozen”-themed party at the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama last July.   “We were able to raise more than $900 the summer “Frozen” party,” Kervin said.

Mylee and Maggie’s Lemons to Lemonade Stand raised about $1000 to purchase books for a local school.  The book donation is in honor of one of the school’s teachers who was diagnosed with breast cancer.

kids lemonade stand books“Everyone is very supportive and impressed that two young children are ‘running the show’,” said Kervin.

Just because summer is over, that does not mean Mylee and Maggie have closed down the stand.  The girls plan to continue to raise money throughout the year by selling cider and hot chocolate during the winter.


Find more resources about kids lemonade stands and other projects visit our page on Kids’ Community Service Project Ideas.

To donate to help us continue to support more kids’ projects like this one or to apply for a grant to help a kids get their project off the ground please click the buttons below.


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Fourth graders Shed Light on Emergency Safety for Seniors

kids helping emergency safety for seniors

Fourth graders Shed Light on Emergency Safety for Seniors


By MJ Vieweg, Staff Writer

The national youth volunteer platform, used the grant money awarded to them by Start-A-Snowball to distribute 50 emergency safety kits to low-income senior citizens in St. Louis, MO.  The fourth graders of the Mirowitz School in St. Louis had been studying poverty and social justice issues.

“The St. Louis area is often under a tornado watch in the month of May,” said Simone Bernstein, co-founder of  “The kits were distributed through area food banks.”  Last spring’s tornado activity in the St. Louis region highlighted this critical need that simply went unaddressed.  According to Bernstein, FEMA and Red Cross highlight the need for such kits.  Low-income seniors often do not have new batteries or even flashlights available.

The distribution of the kits is a vehicle that will combine service learning with an educational awareness project to promote emergency safety and preparedness procedures.  The start-A-Snowball grant ($100) enabled the students to buy flashlights and batteries for the 50 emergency kits.  Local hardware and grocery stores donated plastic waterproof boxes, first aid supplies, and water bottles.

“We hope to continue to prepare and distribute the emergency safety kits (which will include FEMA information, snacks and additional supplies),” Bernstein said.  “The kits will be distributed at the food banks as the director shared that the need for these kits is ongoing.”


Please click below to donate or apply for a grant to support kids’ community service.


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Bath Bombs for Diabetes

Susan C. of Columbia, Maryland thinks a lot about Juvenile Diabetes, as two of her siblings have it.  She has always appreciated the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), having participated in five of their DC area walks.

At the same time, she has seen all the different clever bath products advertised on TV and displayed at the mall.  So she thought about making her own to contribute to the diabetes research cause, and asked Start a Snowball for help.

Bath Bombs for Diabetes


With help from friends & family and an array of ingredients on the kitchen table she made the bath bombs for diabetes from a recipe off the web, as shown below, and sold them door-to-door in her neighborhood.

With careful budgeting she cleared a profit and with excitement sent a check to the JDRF in August, 2014.

Bath Bombs for Diabetes


Susan said “I was so happy to contribute to the JDRF and it was fun making the different kinds of bath bombs– different colors and scents.  People who bought them really liked them, and none of this would have happened without the grant from Start a Snowball.”

Start A Snowball is passionate about supporting kids in their efforts to help others. We believe that through helping kids like Susan to do good we can encourage a generation of givers that, in adulthood, will tackle the problems facing our world unlike any generation we have seen.  If you would like to apply for a grant to help support a kid’s community service efforts click the button below.

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Please consider a donation to help us continue to support kids like Susan as they pursue their passions to help others

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Sunnyvale Youth Newspaper Camp: Teaching Kids to Love Writing

Teaching Kids to Love Writing

What happens when a group of high school students who work on a school newspaper notice a decline in kids’ interest in writing and reading? Exactly what everyone should do, they started working on a solution to teach kids to love writing and to apply that love of writing outside of the classroom. This was the challenge facing Start A Snowball Grantee, June Lee, a Sunnyvale, CA, high school student and editor to her school’s newspaper, The Lancer. June says, “As an editor and reporter for several of my school newspapers, I have always loved the ability of newspapers to draw communities closer together through their portrayal of local/national/international occurrences. Additionally, while looking at my younger brother and children at the local elementary school, I realized how much youth interest in writing and reading was in decline, and realized that newspapers could be applied to solve the problem.” With this thought in her head, she set forth on her journey to spread her love of writing.

Teaching Kids to Love WritingThe first thing June did was enlist other students with a similar passion to volunteer for youth education. Together, they formed the Sunnyvale Youth Newspaper Committee with the goal to teach local youth to apply writing both inside and outside of the classroom. June states: “Newspaper reporting/editing is one form in which we hope to kindle youth enthusiasm for literature. By increasing youth involvement in the art of newspaper writing, we hope to increase their awareness and involvement in the community while also reviving this method for global interaction and communication.” One of the main activities of this youth led committee is to host summer and winter break camps for local youth in grades 5-8. They are geared toward inspiring interest in writing, while improving reading/writing skills through the newspaper. This camp is free of charge to the kids that attend and aims to expose students to different types of writing styles (interview/investigative reporting, letters-to-the-editor, editorials, cartooning), inspire interest in writing and greater involvement in the community, and to help students experience the process of writing, editing, and publishing their own individual newspaper.

June and her committee work tirelessly to make the camp successful. Through weekly meetings they plan the camp curriculum, publicize the camp throughout their community, and secure editors from local newspapers like the San Jose Mercury News and Town Crier to speak to the campers about their jobs and how youth can become more involved in their field.Teaching Kids to Love Writing During the week long program kids create their own mini-newspaper and present it on the final day of camp, get to see their letters to the editor published in the local Sunnyvale Sun Newspaper, and have the opportunity to be invited to work with the Los Altos Town Crier as a youth reporter during the upcoming school year. At the conclusion of the camp, the students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to become involved with their local and school newspapers.

During the summer of 2014, the camp hosted 38 students and received a grant from Start A Snowball to help pay for supplies and snacks. They received glowing feedback from campers and parents indicating that their goal of increasing students’ interest in local news and writing was successful. They plan on continuing to realize their passion of teaching kids to love writing, and carrying on with the camp each year and also expanding it to cover summer and winter breaks. This is an amazing example of youth helping youth, and the impact one person can have when they are passionate about helping others. Check out their news coverage by The San Jose Mercury News and The Teenage Views Blog.

If you would like to apply for a grant to support a kid’s community service project or donate to Start A Snowball to help us continue to support kids doing good, please click the buttons below.

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By: Mac Winslow, Co-Founder and President, Start A Snowball

The Maria Joy Foundation

start a snowball supports the maria joy foundation

There are community service organizations that “do good”, and then there are community service organizations that do great – that go above and beyond.  The Maria Joy Foundation is doing just that.

I was first introduced to foster and adoption as a child when my mother remarried a gentleman who had adopted a beautiful young girl.  We were a blended family and the adjustment was not easy, but over the years I’ve been blessed to have the sister I would not have otherwise had, had it not been for adoption.

As a married husband and father of three in Florida, we see the SIGNIFICANT need to serve children and families in need.  To that end we’ve become foster parents and despite dealing with the challenges of the “system”, we feel a strong calling to serve God and children in need.  Foster parenting is not easy—frankly, it’s thankless—however the need continues to grow within our communities to help children without a loving family.

The Maria Joy Foundation is focused on increasing awareness and support for the foster care and adoption system.  Children within our communities are in desperate need for advocacy, love, attention, and positive reinforcement.  Start A Snowball received a grant request from Taylor Tinsley, the teenage daughter of Olivia Maria Joy, who was once a foster child adopted along with her brothers and sisters.  Taylor founded The Maria Joy Foundation, and she believes every child in this world deserves a loving family.

A startling number of children in America are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect.  Every year, more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children.  The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations—losing an average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

The purpose of the Maria Joy Foundation is to host events for children, participate in community service projects, and organize fundraisers to raise funds for children in foster care, as well as promote child adoption awareness.  In addition to supporting awareness, the Maria Joy Foundation seeks to help children with literacy by organizing events for reading and book drives.   This year, Taylor plans to use her grant from Start a Snowball to make sure the foster kids in her area have the school supplies they need when they go back to school.

It’s an honor to support the Maria Joy Foundation at Start A Snowball.  Our funds are helping create scholarships for children within the foster care system.  We look forward to continued support and expansion of the program.  We continue to be amazed with this generation of youth and their devotion to service, what we see forming is the next “Greatest Generation” and it’s being led by children like Taylor.

By John Mize, VP Start a Snowball Board of Directors


Friday Feel Good: News about Kids Doing Good

News about kids doing good

News About Kids Doing Good


At Start A Snowball we love kids doing good! Our main goal is to help inspire kids to take on their own community service passions. One of the best ways to inspire kids to do good, it to show them stories of other kids doing good.

Each Friday we will highlight news about kids doing good and that have done amazing work through their service projects. Please read these stories about kids doing good and be inspired to help kids do good. Additionally please check out these other stories of our very own grantees that are doing good.

Please consider applying for a grant if you know a kid that needs support for their community service project.

June 19, 2015


This 6-Year-Old Boy Will Attempt 100 Holes Of Golf In Memory Of Friend He Lost To Cancer from Huffington Post

Kids from Michigan make prosthetic arm for 4 year old from mLive

Little Girl gives her birthday present to kids with cancer From

Being Kind To Others

Teen Rallies His Classmates To Throw Prom For Women In Need from Huffington Post

Boy gives his birthday presents to the children of a recently fallen police officer from WDAM


These parents discovered the last wish of their 10-year-old son in his journal, and now they’re making it come true. From


After Her Mega-Cabbage Fed 275 People In Need, Teen Helped Launch 80 Gardens To Feed Hungry from Huffington Post


Formerly Homeless Boy Uses His Allowance To Make Clothes For Needy Kids from Huffington Post


Heroic Boys Rescue Young Children From Burning Home In Florida from Huffington Post

June 12, 2015


8 year old boy endured taunts and comments for 2 years to grow his hair out for donating it to cancer patients from Today


9-year-old girl builds personal homeless shelters for the homeless, or her “friends,” so they feel safe from ABC News

9 Year Old Girl Build Shelters And Grows Food For Homeless And Needy People from


High School Students Build Home For Wounded Veteran from Huffington Post

Equal Rights

Teen’s Act Of Love Inspires Oregon Town To Come Together Against Anti-Gay Protestors from Huffington Post

Teen Uses Homemade Prom Dress As Message Board For Girls’ Rights from Huffington Post

Being Kind To Others

High School Seniors Donate Class Trip Money To Principal Battling Cancer from Huffington Post

Boy With Asperger’s Dreaded Field Day, So Fellow Fifth-Graders Helped Him Feel Like A Star from Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

Bay area boy on a mission to save furry lives from Bay News 9

Childhood Hunger

Kid President starts first-ever ‘Tell-A-Thon’ for child hunger from Candy Direct News

May 22, 1015


A 5-Year-Old Boy Met A Homeless Man For The First Time. What He Did Next Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes from Huffington Post

Being Kind To Others

11-Year-Old Girl Has Helped Throw Over 500 Birthday Parties For Kids In Need from Huffington Post

Family loses home to a fire two years ago. Contractors took the money and ran. A little girl decides to start a lemonade stand to help her parents raise money to rebuild her home. She raises $15,000 in one day! From ABC Action News


Boy’s Birthday Wish To Help Nepal Raises More Than $31,000 For Relief Efforts from Huffington Post


British Teen in Own Wild! Pacific Crest Trail Walk for Mountain Gorillas from Huffington Post


7 year old boy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer but decided he wanted to help others who were suffering so started selling beaded bracelets. He’s gone on to raise over a million pounds. From Zidilife

May 8, 2015


Here’s What a Boy Did When He Found Out Kids Were Going Hungry in His Affluent Community from Huffington Post

Community Building

Baltimore Students clean up 7-11 after protest from The Baltimore Sun


Teenager evacuates 55 orphans during the Nepalese earthquake and saves all of them. From The Advisor

South Carolina 10-year-old, Damariyon Pichardo, saves classmate, Thomas Adkins, from choking from CBS News

Being Kind To Others

Teen walks old man home from grocery shopping from iTV

Homeless Teen Found, Returned $500 And The Internet Is Paying Him Back In The Best Way from Huffington Post

Helping your Friends

A high school student in China has carried his disabled best friend to every class for three years from The Daily Mail


A teenager organizes a ‘Purple-Out’ for Epilepsy Awareness after seeing his friend have a seizure. from Centre Daily Times

April 24, 2015

Being Kind To Others

How Teens Are Using Prom For Good from Huffington Post



This Boy Found a Way to Feed the Hungry With His Favorite Food from Huffington Post


Why These Girls’ Turned a Twist on the `Three Rs’ Into a Vital Lesson for Kids from Huffington Post

This Disney Star Is Committed To Giving Back Through Volunteering from Huffington Post


13-Year-Old Directs Firefighters in Dramatic Rescue from Good Morning America


The Power of $20: One Year Later an 8-Year-Old Boy’s Gift Continues to Inspire Millions from Huffington Post


Meet The 6-Year-Old Who Raised Over $60,000 For Cancer Research While Battling A Brain Tumor from Huffington Post


The Next Generation of Peacemakers on Cape Cod

April 10, 2015


Watch These Kids Find A Way To Ease World Hunger In Under 2 Minutes from Huffington Post

See How This Sixth Grader Is Tackling Child Hunger as a FROG from Huffington Post


Starting Young – Middle School Students Become Seasoned Volunteers from Huffington Post


Student Group Turns Bruised Fruit, Canned Veggies Into Balanced Meals For Homeless People from Huffington Post

Teens hold clothing drive, leave winter clothes in Michigan park for the homeless: “They distributed the items in the park, with tags that said, “I am not lost! If you are stuck out in the cold, please take this to keep warm!” from

Teens Create Tiny Home Village For Seattle’s Growing Homeless Population from Huffington Post


A ten-year-old boy has been hailed as a hero after clinging onto a moving SUV to rescue his sister from a convicted sex offender. From The Independent

Noah, 8, helps his disabled brother finish a triathlon because he wants him to know what it’s like to cross the finishing line. From


8-Year-Old Sells Hot Chocolate, Donates Profits To Hospital That Saved His Friend’s Life from Huffington Post

This Teen Is Helping Doctors Diagnose Breast Cancer from Huffington Post


February 27, 2015

Being Kind To Others

Virginia Teen Offers To Shovel Snow For Elderly Man from Opposing Views

NYPD Honors 10-Year-Old Girl Who Sent Hundreds Of Cards After The Deaths Of 2 Officers from Huffington Post

You Can Sit With Us: Teens Make Sure No One Has to Eat Alone from Huffington Post

6 Teenagers shovel every driveway on their block for free from 9 News

Helping your Friends

Boy raising money to help teen with disability buy van. From Fox 59


Nineteen third graders shave their heads in memory of classmate who lost battle with cancer. The boy’s twin brother and one other classmate are also fighting the same disease. from CI News Now

Social Change

How One Teen Uses Instagram to Campaign for Social Change from


Boy Superhero in a Cape Helps Detroit’s Homeless from Detroit Free Press

Standing Up Against Violence

Chicago High School Students Pay Tribute To Kids Killed By Guns from Huffington Post

A 12-Year Old Reflects on Domestic Violence from Huffington Post


Meet The Teens Who Are Preserving Classical Music For Future Generations from Huffington Post


February 13, 2015


Teen’s Science Project Could Be A Game-Changer For Hospital Patients from Huffington Post

These Middle School Girls Had An Idea That Could Help Alzheimer’s Patients Remember Loved Ones from Huffington Post


How One 13-Year-Old’s Words Helped Raise Over $1 Million For His Brooklyn School from Huffington Post

Special Needs

Teen With Growth Disorder Gets Sweetest Pep Rally Promposal From Football Player from Huffington Post

`Some Kids Feel Powerless’ – But Not These Kids from Points of Light

Gender Equality

This Teen Turns Girls Into Queens from Points of Light


10 year old saves himself, grandparents, and dogs from frozen lake by something he learned on Animal Planet from AZ Daily Sun

Animal Welfare

Little girl sends Coach Rivera her tooth fairy money to make sure he and his dogs/family won’t be homeless. He sends it back, reassuring her that him and his dogs/family will be fine. From NESN

Helping your Friends

A terminally ill six-year-old donates his wish to his friend. from Essential Kids


January 30, 2015


Teen Starts Company To Make Low-Cost Printers To Help Blind People from Huffington Post

Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company from MSN

Human Rights

Obamas Honor Work Of 12-Year-Old Child Slave Turned Activist During India Trip from Huffington Post

This Teen Could Have Had A Sweet 16 Party, But She Did Something Incredible Instead from Huffington Post


Girl, 10, honored for using sign language to help deaf crash victim from KMBC


15 yr old Eagle Scout hopeful spends his Christmas break in Haiti village paving dirt floors and providing food & backpacks for villagers. From KCCI

Special Needs

Compassionate 12-Year-Old Who Has Dwarfism Surprises Special Needs Kids With iPads To Help Them Communicate from Huffington Post

January 16, 2015


Girl’s Dying Wish To Help Warm ‘Homeless Inside And Out’ Moves People To Help from Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

7-year-old makes tutus for dogs, wants to donate proceeds to animal shelters from

Helping Those In Need

Students from the high school I graduated from are coming together to help a teachers’ daughter. From Oregon Live

Students Perform Concert With 9-Year-Old Violinist Day Before Her Brain Surgery from Huffington Post


Boy has heart attack on school sports field. Two friends save his life from Buckingham Today

January 2, 2015


The True Meaning of a Superhero; Avenging Childhood Cancer from Huffington Post

Update on Two Heroes Against Cancer and Hunger from Huffington Post

Young Cancer Survivor Brings Toys To Sick Kids Spending Christmas At The Hospital from Huffington Post

Young boy raises $1 million to help research best friend’s rare disease from ABC 6


£21,000 raised already by student who spent 24 hours on streets to repay a homeless man who gave her his last £3 from Lancanshire Evening Post

Boy Collects 79 Coats For Homeless Families, Inspired By A Random Act Of Kindness from Huffington Post


9-Year-Old Humanitarian Selflessly Raises $3k for Indonesia from The Inertia


In 2014, Students Around The Country Stood Up For Their Beliefs from Huffington Post

December 12, 2014


9-year-old Cub Scout honored for saving woman drowning in creek from


This 19-Year-Old College Student Built an Artificial Brain That Detects Breast Cancer from Huffington Post


WATCH: 7-year-old Violin Prodigy Leah Flynn Hopes To Bring Peace To Ferguson Through Music from Huffington Post

Helping the Needy

Kicks for a cause: students raise thousands for hamper campaign from The

December 4, 2014


‘She Can Have Some Of My Hair’: After Seeing Girl Without Hair, Toddler Moved To Donate Hers from Huffington Post

Three-Year-Old Girl’s Selfless Donation Goes Viral from Good Morning America


8-Year-Old Madison Gives Enthusiastic, Inspiring Speech About Books from Huffington Post


Young Global Leader Nabs Harvard Master’s Degree… at 16 from Huffington Post


This 9-Year-Old Collected 400 Pounds Of Food For The Needy For Thanksgiving from Huffington Post

Doing the Right Thing

See What These High School Students Did to Help Their 72 Year-Old Custodian Fight Cancer from Mapachili

November 21, 2014


This 5-Year-Old Gives Homeless Kids Care Packages That Make Them Feel Right At Home from Huffington Post

Dying from cancer, 11-year old’s last wish feeds the hungry from Huffington Post


American Teen Wins Children’s Peace Prize For Empowering Orphans In India from Huffington Post

Helping African Children

This 17-Year-Old Has Given 45 African Girls An Education By Selling Headbands from Huffington Post


Teen Jumps Into Action, Saves Infant’s Life By Performing CPR At Walmart from Huffington Post


4-Year-Old ‘Super DJ’ Passes Out Capes To Kids In The Hospital To Help Them Feel Brave from Huffington Post

3-Year Old Girl Donates Hair To Help Cancer Victims from The Edinburg News

Helping your Friends

8 year old’s ‘Buddy Bench’ helps lonely kids in schoolyard make friends from Good News Network

November 14, 2014

Toys for Kids

This 11-Year-Old Collects Toys For Kids Who Have Less Than He Does, Is A Real-Life Santa Claus from Huffington Post


How One Viral Video Inspired This 11-Year-Old Girl To Help Hundreds Of Homeless People from Huffington Post

Helping your Friends

Students raise thousands for custodian battling cancer from Fox 2


Heroic Teen Saves Cop Trapped In Squad Car Moments Before Vehicle Is Engulfed In Flames from Huffington Post

November 7, 2014


This 8-Year-Old Author Has Made Nearly $1 Million In Book Sales To Fight His Best Friend’s Disease from Huffington Post

Oregon teen develops a way to detect cancer early from CBS News


This 13-Year-Old Can’t Vote, But Awesomely Explains Why Adults Should from Huffington Post


A little boy was being bullied at school, and a varsity football player heard about it. So he had lunch with the boy in the cafeteria one day. That lead to a group being formed to help other kids being bullied. From News West 9

Helping your Friends

Orphans Win Fishing Tournament, Bring $250,000 Home to Share from Good News Network


Entrepreneur, 13, gets Intel funding for low-cost Braille printer from Yahoo Small Business


8-year-old helps save school bus driver during emergency from 10 On Your Side

October 31, 2014


Meet The Awesome Teens Taking Down Ebola from Huffington Post

7-Year-Old Girl Shaves Her Head In Solidarity With Her Little Sister In Remission From Cancer from Huffington Post

Doing the Right Thing

Local Oklahoma students and faculty show support for Muslim community from Oklahoma News 9


This High Schooler Started A Charity When He Was 5, Revolutionizing What You Can Do With Just $20 from Huffington Post


October 24, 2014


This Teen Saw Poverty and Created Her Own Way to Help from Points of Light

Helping your Friends

8 year old with Down Syndrome scores amazing touchdown from

California Boy Raises $800,000 to Fight Friend’s Rare Disease from NBC News


The Teenage Inventor who is Mopping up Ocean Pollution from BBC


Nine-year-old girl cuts off her hair to make wigs for little girls undergoing chemotherapy from Ripley and Heanor News

Doing the Right Thing

High School Cross Country Runner Carries Injured Opponent Across The Finish Line from Huffington Post

Helping Haiti

Young People Use Gorgeous Instagram Pics To Show There’s More To Haiti Than Poverty from Huffington Post

October 17, 2014


This 12-Year-Old Invented A Robot That Could Help End Malaria from Huffington Post


How One Teen Inspired An Entire Community Using Post-it Notes from Huffington Post


This 12-Year-Old Invented A Robot That Could Help End Malaria from Huffington Post

Helping your Friends

Freshman Who Was Born Blind Scores His First Football Touchdown With The Team’s Help from Huffington Post

October 10, 2014


Meet the 14-Year-Old Who Is Determined to Crush Malaria from Huffington Post


Generous 7-Year-Old Hits Streets And Helps Homeless People ‘To Make Them Feel Wanted’ from Huffington Post


Three Irish Kids are Changing How We View Scientific Breakthroughs from Good


Humble Teen Hailed As Hero After Rescue from Yahoo Screen


October 3, 2014


Youth Climate Action in the Face of Africa from Huffington Post

Supporting The Troops

Young Son Of Fallen Soldier Asks World To Leave Porch Lights On So Father Knows He’s Loved from Huffington Post

Safety On The Road

This Teen’s Trying To Make The Road Safer Years Before She Even Starts Driving from Huffington Post


15-year-old wins $25,000 scholarship for inventing a flashlight that runs on the body heat of the hand holding it from Reddit/UpliftingNews

This 15-year-old invented a safety device to help the 5.2 million Americans with Alzheimer’s from

September 26, 2014

Drug Abuse

Seventeen-Year-Old Is Exposing The Scary Secrets Of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse from Huffington Post


Teen Girls Take Swipe At World Hunger With Google Science Fair Idea, Remind Us All To Dream Big from Huffington Post

This Girl’s Middle School Science Project is Changing the Way the World Eats – An Unbelievable Story! From Reddit


Little girl on a big mission; Third-grader raises $2,304 for pediatric cancer support fund from

September 19, 2014

Kids Doing Good and Being Recognized

2014 World of Children Award Honorees Are Announced from Huffington Post


At 9 Years Old, Grace Has Already Beaten Cancer. Now She’s Taking On Child Homelessness from Huffington Post

Kids In Need

11-Year-Old Runs A Marathon On Every Continent, Raises $40,000 For Kids In Need from Huffington Post


16-Year-Old Invents A New Way To Communicate — Using Only Your Breath from Huffington Post

Helping your Friends

Great Story About a Cross Country Runner w/ a Visual Impairment And The Team That Supports Her from The Prairie Village Post

Pay It Forward

This Teen Dedicated Her Life To Giving Back When She Was Only 10 Years Old from Huffington Post

September, 12 2014


This 15-Year-Old Is Changing Lives With ‘Lost and Founds’ from Huffington Post

Gay Teen Kicked Out Of Home Diverts Outpouring Of Donations To Homeless Shelter from Huffington Post

Pay It Forward

Girl Scouts pay it forward with free cookies from WBBJ TV

Girl’s 10th birthday wish to ‘pay it forward’ to Make-A-Wish Michigan from Fox 17 Online

Remembering Lost Friends

When Boy Scout Dies Before Achieving Highest Rank, Troop Completes Project for Him from Good Morning America

Cancer Research

World’s youngest race car driver (10 yr old) raises $250,000 for cancer research and helps cure friend. from

September 5, 2014


High School Senior Founded a Charity to Provide Professional Attire to the Homeless from Huffington Post

Healthy Lifestyles

Kids Helping Kids Thrive from Huffington Post

What An 8th Grader Can Teach You About Eating Well from Huffington Post

Military and Veteran Support

Girl Sets Up Lemonade Stand To Raise Funds For Vet With PTSD, Moves Him To Tears from Huffington Post

Daily Point of Light Award Goes to Teen Helping Kids in Military Families Cope – Through Poetry from Points of Light


From Door-to-Door Pleas at Age 5 to Her Own Foundation Getting Kids to Volunteer from Huffington Post

The Environment

One Teen’s Quest To Save The World Using A Common Household Material from Huffington Post


August 29, 2014


The Bundle Up Club and Kids Doing Good from Amy L Sullivan


Two North Side 12-year-olds work to build South Side playground from Chicago Sun Times


Maryville Boy Scout saves child’s life in Great Smoky Mountains from

August 22, 2014


Eagle Scout invents game-changing device for Alzheimer’s patients from The Boy Scouts of America

6-Year-Old Surfing And Skateboarding Prodigy Makes Waves, Battles Genetic Disorder from ABC Open

These Teens Have a Remedy When `Mind, Spirit and Soul Are Forgotten’ from Huffington Post


National Peanut Board Helps Kids Fight Hunger from The National Peanut Board

August 15, 2014

Helping your Friends

Girl using lemonade stand profits to ‘Pay It Forward’ from Fox 17 News

Clean Water

11-year-old trying to raise $10,000 for clean drinking water in developing nations from Long Island News 12

Special Needs

Nonverbal 10-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy Raises $100,000 For Other Kids With Special Needs from Huffington Post

Helping the Disabled

Teen Invents ‘Snap-On Underwear’ For People With Disabilities from Huffington Post


His School Silenced the Strings, and This Kid Took Action from Huffington Post


August 8, 2014

Healthy Eating

Teens Fight Back Against Ronald And The Burger King With Catchy Rap Song from Huffington Post


Heroic Teens Make Dramatic Rescue After Little Boy Falls Into Sewer from Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

Kids Get Governor To Increase Penalties For Animal Abuse. This Is How Government Should Work from Huffington Post


Abused As A Kid, He Left A Heartfelt Voicemail About The Saving Power Of Books from Huffington Post


Girl, 11, Invents ‘Chemo Backpack’ To Help Kids With Cancer, After Battling The Disease Herself from Huffington Post


William “The Food Drive Kid” gifts $3,000 to BackPack Buddies from

August 1, 2014


These 10 Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways from Huffington Post


Students grow a bond with nature through environmental internship. “Some of these girls have never seen stars in the sky or slept without hearing an airplane overhead,” from LA Times


16-year-old raises $130,000 for children with cancer after swimming across Lake Erie from CBC News

This 6-Year-Old Donated Her Hair In Hopes Of Helping Young Cancer Patients Feel Like Royalty from Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

9-Year old boy Helps Rescue a Critically Injured Street dog from One Green Planet

George RR Martin donates $10,000 to UK wolf charity following 13-year-old’s pocket money plea from The Guardian


11 year old gives wheelchairs to those in need from Good World News

Never Give Up

6-Year-Old Boy Hugs His Mom For The First Time Ever, Thanks To A 3D-Printed Arm from Huffington Post

July 25, 2014


16 Year Old Decides To Make A Difference, Goes Barefoot For A Year And Raises Over $8,500 To Buy Shoes For Children from


Teen starts campaign to preserve hillside cross in Santa Rosa. from

This one gets you every time!

Boy Carries His Younger Brother Through Triathlon, Wins At Life from Huffington Post

July 18, 2014


When Litter and Graffiti Overtook Their Neighborhood, These Teens Invented an App from

Concert goers turn out for free Minneapolis show from Fox Twin Cities


This Student-Invented Device Eliminates Almost All of the Emissions from a Very Common Household Polluter from


10 Year Old Asks For Food Bank Donations Instead Of Birthday Presents, Funds 422 Meals from


July 11, 2014

Helping Neighbors

Wyoming high school students raise money for businesses damaged by fire from The Laramie Boomerang


Boy’s Charity Lemonade Stand Has Donated 330 Wheelchairs To People In Need from Huffington Post

Eight-year-old who battled cerebral palsy cuts hair to help bald girls from The Surrey Comet

Boy sells lemonade to raise money for friend’ surgery from CTV News

Supporting the Troops

When a Loved One Returned From War Unlike Himself, This Teen Set Out to Help Vets from Huffington Post

July 4, 2014


Middle School Boy’s Genius Invention Could Save Babies From Hot Car Fatalities from Huffington Post


World’s Sweetest Child Uses Make-A-Wish To Bring Toys To Other Sick Kids from Huffington Post

How I Started an Organization at 15 (and You Can, Too!) from Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

For Birthday, 9-Year-Old Boy Saves Dogs From Kill Shelters from Good Morning America


Boy, 12, Takes Mission to End Homelessness to Detroit’s Streets from Good News Network


Teen wins car, gives it to best friend from


The Amazing Way a 12-Year-Old Saved Her Father’s Life from Good Morning America

Helping Neighbors

Wyoming high school students raise money for businesses damaged by fire from Laramie Boomerang

June 27, 2014

Social Justice

Youth Leaders Are Fighting for Social Justice and Inclusion Through Sports from Huffington Post


Boy, 7, Saves Dad After Lawnmower Accident from NBC 4

Flood Prevention

This Brilliant 11-Year-Old Revolutionized Flood Prevention from

Fighting Poverty through Sports

This Boy Has Given Away More Than 4,000 Soccer Balls To Kids In Need Around The World from Huffington Post

Youth Development

Do-Gooding Skateboarders Give Back… Again! from The Good News with Ellen Degeneres


This Teen Ran 101 Miles In 2 Days To Make You Pay Attention To Something Big from Huffington Post

This one gets you every time!

Young Baseball Fan’s Act of Generosity from ABC News


June 20, 2014

Spreading Happiness

How One Teen Used Twitter To Make A Big Difference At School from Huffington Post


This Kid Invented A Special Cup So Her Grandpa With Parkinson’s Can Drink Without Spilling from Huffington Post

15-Year-Old’s Incredible Smartphone App Could Be A Game-Changerfrom Huffington Post

The Environment

‘Shark Girl’ Madison Stewart Fighting To Save The Ocean’s Top Predator from Huffington Post


Student wears dress made of burlap sack to prom; donates her dress money to orphanage in the Phillipines. Plus she’s raised $7,500! From Global News

Overcoming Adversity

Denver Teen Overcomes Hardship And Turns Suspension Into Prestigious Scholarship from Huffington Post


Bullied girl donates her Stormtrooper armor to another bullied girl; may the Force be with them! From Chicago Now

Supporting the Troops

8-Year-Old Who Lost His Dad in Iraq Inspired a Flood of Goodwill With a $20 Bill from Huffington Post

June 13, 2014


Teen To Trek 70 Miles For 70th D-Day Anniversary For ‘Sacrifice’ Of Each Soldier from Huffington Post

Overcoming Adversity

This Teen Carried His Brother For 40 Miles To Show What Living With Cerebral Palsy Is Like from Huffington Post

A 9-year-old girl born with a facial deformity uses her Make-a-Wish to teach her classmates love and kindness. from

Non-Verbal Teen With Autism Says ‘No One Can Place Limits’ On You In Moving Graduation Speech from Huffington Post

The Environment

This Brilliant Teen Has A 10-Year Plan To Clean Up The Pacific Ocean from Huffington Post

11-Year-Old NY Girl Wins Google Doodle Contest (Theme: If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place.”) from NBC New York

This 19-Year-Old Is Ready to Build an Ocean Cleanup Machine from Business Week


11-year-old with a degenerative vision condition that could eventually blind her raises $100,000 for research to help others with conditions like hers from


This 15-Year-Old Invented A Way To Charge Your Phone With Your Shoes from Huffington Post

Helping the Elderly

Teens Get Together With Senior Citizens For An Incredibly Hilarious Internet Lesson from Huffington Post


Minnesota Teen Sleeps Outside For A Year For Charity And Would ‘Do It All Over Again’ from Huffington Post


June 6, 2014

Amazing Feats

Youngest Girl To Ever Climb Mount Everest Wants To Inspire Poor Kids To Follow Their Dreams from Huffington Post


Teen is struck and injured pushing his friend out of the way of an oncoming truck. From NY Daily News

4-year-old in Northern Michigan saves father pinned under tree branch from

Special Needs

Autistic Teen Inspires Mom To Launch Online Job Board For Applicants With Special Needs from Huffington Post

Overcoming Adversity

Inspiring Teen Rapper Who Won’t Let His Cancer Hold Him Back Now Has Record Deal With Sony from Huffington Post

Students empty pockets at graduation to help classmate whose father just diedfrom Huffington Post

Animal Welfare

These Elementary School Students Will Totally Persuade You To Adopt A Dog Right Now from Huffington Post

May 30, 2014


15-Year-Old Engineer’s Incredible Invention Can Help Detect Cancer (VIDEO) from Huffington Post

Student reaches top level by donating game consoles to sick children from George’s Weekly

Teen to Carry Little Brother 40 Miles for Cerebral Palsy from Good Morning America

This 6-Year-Old Used Crayons And Paper To Help Get Her Mom A Life-Saving Kidney from Huffington Post

Memorial Day

Consider This on Memorial Day and Every Day from Points of light


Second-Grade Bully Cameron Thompson Changes His Ways, Starts Club To Fight Bullying (VIDEO)

Amazing Feats

Schoolgirl, 13, is youngest female to climb Mt. Everest from Grind TV


May 23, 2014

Animal Welfare

This 9-Year-Old Built A Nonprofit, No-Kill Animal Shelter Out Of His Garage To Help Stray Animals from Huffington Post


5th graders raise $5k to help classmate with rare genetic disease. from WKOW

A terminally ill teenager who set out to raise £10,000 has now raised over £3,000,000 for The Teenage Cancer Trust from The Independent


The 10-year-old who offered money to India’s central bank from BBC

Public Safety

Firefighter’s son, 6, bases children’s book on events in dad’s job from Triblive

Never Left Behind

Twin carries her injured sister over the finish line from USA Today

Animal Welfare

This 9-Year-Old Built A Nonprofit, No-Kill Animal Shelter Out Of His Garage To Help Stray Animals from Huffington Post


Young Leaders Continue Middle East Peace Talks Online After Negotiations Collapse from Huffington Post

May 16, 2014


5 Year Old Wants To Help a School in Africa from Vimeo

17 Year-Old Raises Money to Provide Education to Children in Poverty from YSA

Kids be recognized for Good

Superheroes Like You’ve Never Seen from Points of light


This Teen Is Choosing To Stay In A Cardboard Box For The Families That ‘Must Live’ That Way from Huffington Post

Mental Health

Teen With Tourette’s Syndrome Sends Powerful Message To Destigmatize Mental Disorders (VIDEO) from Huffington Post

Public Safety

This 6-Year-Old Swapped Birthday Gifts For Donations, Raised Funds For Local Police from Huffington Post


Teen Duo’s Anti-Bullying Rap Makes The ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Audience Go Wild (VIDEO) from Huffington Post


May 9, 2014


3-Year-Old Girl Battling Leukemia Creates Mother’s Day Cards With Butterflies For A Good Cause from Huffington post

This Story Will Make You Want to Dig Out Your Old Eyeglasses  from Points of light

Boylan students make prosthetic hand for Roscoe girl from

9-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed Prosthetic Fingers Thanks To Innovative High Schoolers from Huffington post


This Teen Is A Prom Queen In Our Book After She Ditched The Dance For The Sweetest Reason from Huffington post

Special Needs

Fourth-Grader Rallies Her Entire School to Help a Friend Thousands of Miles Away from The Good News with Ellen Degeneres

Social Entrepreneurs

12-year old ‘kidpreneur’ brings the bowtie back from Yahoo Finance


Heroic Sisters Save Dozens Of People, Mostly Children, From School Bus Fire In Mississippi from Huffington post

May 2, 2014


These Teens Got Their Whole Community To Come Together To Fight Hunger from Huffington post

School Food And Student Activism In Brooklyn from The Brooklyn Reader


Meet the Incredible Boy Who Proves You’re Never Too Young to Volunteer from


This 7-Year-Old Wants You To Help Save His Little Sister’s Life from Huffington post

Young People Lead Grassroots Vaccination Campaign As Polio Spreads Across Borders from Huffington post


Once the Target of Bullies, This Teen With Tourettes is Making Sure No Other Kid Suffers from

Kids be recognized for Good

Heroes For Change – RDMAs 2014 from Radio Disney

Wisdom From an Eighth-Grader in Saudi Arabia from Huffington post


These Kids Thought Their School Lacked A Place Of Discovery. So They’re Building One from Huffington post


Meet The Girl Who Changed A Whole Lot Of Lives With Something I’d Just Throw Away from


April 25, 2014


This Incredible Kid Figured Out How To Feed Needy Children In His Community For A Year from Huffington post

Teen Ranch Hand Changes the Game from Points of Light

Middle Schooler’s Yummy Tummy program feeds kids over spring break from Daily Sun News

Youth Assistance

Boy Inspires His Family to Give Away Money on Every Birthday from

‘We Would Do Anything For That Kid:’ Hockey Team Gives Up Phones To Support Sick Player from Huffington post

Community Involvement

This Boy Saved For A PlayStation, But Then Tragedy Struck And He Helped His Community Instead from Huffington post

This Brilliant 11-Year-Old Revolutionized Flood Prevention from


Students Give Haircuts To Homeless People, Help Them Start Spring Fresh from Huffington post

Child Gives Up Gifts, Donates Shoes to Needy Instead from


Meet The 10-Year-Old Boy With Cancer Whose Lemonade Stands Have Raised $150,000 For Charity from Huffington post


Kids Helping Kids Read: Maria Keller & Read Indeed

 Kids Helping Kids Read

kids helping kids, maria keller

In 5 Years Maria Keller has helped distribute over 1 million books to kids in need

Fighting Childhood Illiteracy: Revisited

Kids helping kids is one of the most inspiring things that can happen when they get involved in community service. We recently published a post about How Kids can help fight childhood illiteracy, and sited several shocking statistics about the effects of childhood illiteracy, such as:

  • 2/3 of children who cannot read by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare
  • One child in 4 grows up not being able to read

As a follow up to that piece we want to talk about the impact one inspired girl has had, and how other kids can get involved to help supply the tools kids around the world need to learn to read and become proficient readers.

Kids Helping Kids Read: Maria Keller and Read Indeed

At age 8 Maria Keller loved to read and quickly learned that not every child has books to read. Maria says, “When I learned how many kids in the world don’t have even one book in their home, I was shocked.” Knowing what she would be missing if she did not have access to books, she decided that she wanted to do something to help. In order to make a difference in the world around her she started Read Indeed, a non-profit organization that wants to make the world a better place, one book at a time. “I have learned how vital it is that kids have the tools to learn how to read and to become proficient readers. I just want to do my part to help make that happen, because being literate has a dramatic effect on their ability to provide for themselves when they grow up,” explains 13 year-old Founder and CEO Maria Keller.

Maria is a shining example of the power of one kid to change the world. At age 8 when Maria started her push to provide books to kids in need her goal was to provide 1 million books. 5 years later she has already eclipsed that goal by collecting books valued at over $4 Million, and keeps on moving. She has gotten national recognition on the Ellen Show, and has recently been awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for public service. Moved by the award’s namesake who said, “I cannot live without books,” Maria strives to fulfill Jefferson’s legacy, and says, “as I continue in my mission, I learn that the number of kids who have no books are in the hundreds of millions. So I just can’t give up even after reaching my original goal of 1 million books distributed.”

Get Involved

Kids helping kids get the tools they need to learn to read, and embrace the love of reading is a great way to get kids involved in community service. Maria and Read Indeed offer lots of opportunities for others to get involved. If you live in the Minneapolis area you can help in person. They open the Read Indeed warehouse the 2nd Saturday and 4th Friday of every month for volunteers to sort/count books, drop off donated books, and for organizations to pick up books for the kids they serve. If you would like to sign up to help in person click here. If you don’t live close to their warehouse you can host your own book drive and even utilize the read indeed name and logo to help promote it. Click here for more information on hosting your own book drive for kids in need of books in your area.

Start A Snowball is proud to award Maria a grant to help her further her goal of making the world a better place one book at a time. If you would like to apply for a grant to support a kid’s community service project click the button below.


Apply For A Grant






4 Year Olds Help Homes of Hope India with Books on Their Birthdays

Girls collect books for homes of hope IndiaTeaching children to do good for others can be quite a challenge sometimes, especially with all of the competing priorities out there today. Parents can lead by example, get their kids involved when they can, and hope it sticks. It is a pretty good sign that a parent’s efforts are succeeding when a child takes up the torch and does something on their own to help others in need.

Two young friends in North Carolina were inspired by examples they had seen, and decided to do their part to help a cause that they had become passionate about. On March 1st, 2014, Charly and Fiona, in celebration of turning 4, chose to spread their joy to other little girls. At such a young age they have built a love for books and the stories they contain. When they heard about other little girls across the world in India that didn’t have the same access to books and stories, they knew just what to do.

Instead of having their party guests bring presents, the girls requested that the VIP ticket to their rock star party be a book for the girls at the Home of Hope orphanage in India.  The overwhelming generosity of their guests allowed the girls to collect over 50 books for donation. These books will go to help educate young girls in orphanages across Southern India, and help Homes of Hope India transform the lives of children who may have no other chance at a better life.Kids collect books for good

Charly and Fiona decided to make a difference for their birthday, and to sacrifice their gifts in exchange them for gifts for other kids in need. If you would like to apply for a grant to help fund a kids effort to help the world around them please click on the button at the bottom of the page.

“Homes of Hope India-US, a 501c3 registered charity, works in 32 orphanages, schools, junior colleges and social empowerment centers throughout South India to: rescue, shelter and educate orphaned and at-risk girls, provide education for the poorest of the poor, both girls and boys, empower women and improve the lives of poor families, both rural and urban.”


Apply For A Grant



Arizona Teen Starts an Anti-Bullying Snowball

thebeoneproject, anti-bullyingTheoneproject, anti-bullyingTheoneproject, anti-bullying

Arizona Teen Starts an Anti-Bullying Snowball

Young people in the United States have a tremendous amount of power to affect change in the communities around them.  At Start A Snowball, we want to remind young people that they have the power to change things for the better.  We want to encourage them and empower them to act on their desire to help those around them.

When Josh Kaplan, a then Arizona elementary school student, began receiving negative text messages from classmates, his older brother Matthew took notice. High school student Matthew Kaplan saw that the text messages his younger brother was receiving said things like, “you suck” and “you’re a jerk”. Matthew realized that when you hear things like this enough you may start believing it, and he decided he was going to do something about it.

Once Matthew saw the trouble his brother was having, he realized he could make a difference for his brother and many others as well. Determined to change what he had witnessed, not only for his brother, but for other middle school kids, Matthew created an anti-bullying campaign structured through interactive workshops. He called his program The Be O.N.E. Project.  During a fun-filled day of interactive games, The Be O.N.E. Project builds bridges, opens lines of communication, and instills a sense of trust and community.

Most efforts to address bullying focus on high school.  The Be O.N.E. Project recognizes that, by high school, bullying behavior is often ingrained.  The time to intervene comes earlier – in middle school – before the bullying behavior becomes habit.  The Be O.N.E. Project challenges students to focus on their similarities and to celebrate their differences. The magic of The Be O.N.E. Project is its cornerstone philosophy that peer pressure can be captured and reversed, so that students challenge each other to include rather than to exclude, and to support rather than discourage each other.

Matthew has shown that the focus and determination of youth is a powerful force. He is spreading his anti-bullying  program throughout his home state of Arizona, and is now being asked to work with officials in other states around the country to discuss how his program may be able to be spread even further. He is showing us all what it means to create a snowball. Because of this, Start A Snowball is pleased to help Matthew’s project by awarding him with one of its first grants.

Click to learn more about Bullying and what you can do about it.

To apply for a grant to start your own snowball, click the button below.


Apply For A Grant


8 Year Old Helps Kids in Need with Books and Bears

kids in need,books and bears

8 Year Old Helping Kids in Need

Kids have huge hearts and a gift for helping others without thinking. Sometimes they don’t understand who it is that may need help, or that those that need help may be closer to them than they think.

Makenzie from Forsyth, Georgia wanted to do something to help other children for her 8th birthday party. At first, she wanted to collect shoes for kids in need of them. After having a hard time finding a program that handles shoes for kids in need, she found a program in her county called Books and Bears. According to their website, “Project Books & Bears is dedicated to providing joy, and improving the overall well-being of a child, by providing reading book and stuffed animals to children in group homes, shelters, and other organizations within the state of Georgia.”  This program enables social workers to give toys and learning materials to children that are shifted from place to place, helping these kids become grounded and feel valued during hard times.  Books and Bears are in need of book bags, books and small toys, and stuffed animals.  The book bags allow the kids have a way to keep their belongings in a way that can be quickly picked up and taken with them when they have to leave abruptly. The books are educational and don’t require batteries or power. The children are able to make a connection with someone when they sit down to read together. The stuffed animals are cuddly and are “someone” the kids can hug. This brings them a special comfort they may not otherwise have.  Mackenzie learned about this and asked people to bring book bags, books or small toys, and a stuffed animal to her birthday instead of presents. 

Makenzie got a huge response! She was thrilled to take everything she collected to the board of education for distribution and had quite the experience when she delivered her gifts. She realized kids that are in need don’t have a badge around their neck or look a certain way. It could be a child in her class or at her lunch table or beside her on the bus. She is excited about how much she was able to collect for the kids in need, and looks forward to doing another project again soon.

Many times all it takes to inspire kids to help others is for them to connect with those that need help.The feeling they get when they help their peers can go a long way towards building a life-long desire to help others.

Kids Helping: Birthday Party for Alley Cats and Angels

Kids Helping Alley Cats and Angels

Kids Helping Alley Cats and Angels

 Kids Helping: Birthday Party for Alley Cats and Angels

It is always inspiring to see kids helping causes that they feel passionate about. It is even more inspiring to see them doing it as a celebration for their birthday, when they are willing to trade the chance to get presents with the chance to give to a cause they love.

Maggie, from Apex, NC, loves animals and dreams of becoming a veterinarian when she grows up. For her 6th birthday in November 2013, Maggie had a pet adoption themed party and asked for donations to a local cat rescue organization, Alley Cats and Angels, in lieu of gifts. The party was a huge success and Maggie was thrilled with the generosity of her friends and family. Items donated included food for the adoption program, food for feral colonies, canned food, dry food, great kitty toys, lots of Temptation kitty treats for when the cats are in the adoption center, and litter. Maggie was so proud to load up the family car and deliver the supplies the following day. Her favorite birthday present was knowing she had helped cats and kittens. The volunteers at Alley Cats and Angels were so grateful for the donations. They called her “a generous little girl with a big heart” in their Facebook post thanking her.

Teaching kids about giving is one of the best gifts a parent can give their kids. Birthdays are a great time for younger kids to learn how good it can feel to give back. Check out the Start A Snowball Birthday Mountain to read about other kids that used their birthday as a time to give. If you are interested in applying for a grant to fund a kids’ community service project or donating please click on the buttons below.


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Hot Chocolate is for Warriors


 brewer hot chocolate

The Brewer Family, with 4 kids ranging in age from 4-8 years old has a family tradition of service.  Each Christmas, they set up a neighborhood hot chocolate stand to raise funds for someone in need.  Each year the kids get to choose a different charity to receive the proceeds of their hot chocolate stand. With their close proximity to Fort Bragg, and Seymour Johnson AFB, this year they decided to dedicate all of their proceeds to help Train a Dog, Save A Warrior, a Texas based group dedicated to training and providing medical alert service dogs to veterans returning home from battle at no charge.

December 21, 2013 was their 4th year doing this and during the previous 3 years they have raised over $2,000 in donations selling hot chocolate to their neighbors. This year during their 4th annual sale they raised over $1,000 for Train a Dog, Save A Warrior with more donations still coming in the mail.  So far, they are very close to their goal of $1,250, which will cover half the cost of training one dog. Their friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, Firemen, Scouts, Y guides, and strangers showed up to support the cause. The kids all had a great time seeing their friends and the adults enjoyed connecting with both new and familiar faces. They are already planning for next year saying, “We have captured our lessons learned and ideas for what to do different next year, so we can continue to increase our goals.”

The Brewers have made a family tradition out of this because, in their own words, “It not only raised funds to train a dog, but brought our community together.” It is amazing how much difference can be made in our world by one person or one family deciding that they are going to dedicate some time and money to helping a cause that touches them.  One hot chocolate stand started quite the snowball of projects for this family, and what a great affinity for service they are cultivating among the children in their community.


William’s Week For Back Pack Buddies – Fighting Childhood Hunger

The Food Drive is Kid Fighting Childhood Hunger

William raised $305 and 1400 lbs of food for Back Pack Buddies

William raised $305 and 1400 lbs of food for Back Pack Buddies

William planned “William’s Week for Back Pack Buddies” which benefited the Back Pack Buddies Program at his school. The Back Pack Buddies Program  (“BPB”) is run by the Interfaith Food Shuttle in partnership with local elementary schools. The program provides backpacks full of food for children from food-insecure homes. The children in need take home a backpack containing 6 meals each Friday. William’s concern was that for Spring Break this year, the children are out of school for 10 days. He knew that 1 backpack wouldn’t last for 10 days, so he decided to find a way to get enough food that the children would stay full for the entire Spring Break. He formulated a plan that included approaching 2 local businesses for their support and then promoting his project to various groups. He talked with the owner and marketing manager of a local Mexican restaurant, and convinced them to give free cheese dip to anyone that donated an item of food off the approved “Backpack Buddies Food List”. He initially asked the restaurant to do this for one night, but the owner of the restaurant was so impressed by William that he extended the event to 3 days. The restaurant created at Facebook page for their part of the event and received an amazing response. William also approached the manager of a local grocery store and convinced the manager to let him stand outside of the store for 2 days and solicit donations for BPB. At first, the manager was a little hesitant, but William asked the manager to “think win/win” and noted that people would be buying more groceries than normal (meaning more income for the store) and William would get more food for BPB. The manager was speechless and told William that he was extremely impressed with his drive. Then,William made speeches about the event at Church and at Scouts, and distributed flyers throughout our neighborhood. Then, despite having sustained a concussion while roller skating a few days prior these events, William visited the restaurant all 3 of the days they held their event, and then stood outside of the grocery story soliciting

William Collected 3600 lbs of food and over $9000 in his second hear.

donations for over 10 hrs. So, over a weekend, William collected approximately 1,400 lbs of food and $305 in cash donations for BPB. The school was so overwhelmed and excited about the donations. The guidance counselor immediately realized that she could send home a backpack full of food every day between the delivery date and the start of spring break and the kids would get enough food to keep them full over spring break. William inspired his friends, Church members, neighbors and members of the community to donate to this worthy cause. When he was only 7 years old and in the 1st grade he already had the compassion and ability to think beyond his own needs. He had amazing initiative and willingness to work for good through his philanthropy efforts.

William has continued his project and has experienced even more success in 2014. He expanded to 4 grocery stores in addition to the restaurant. He spoke about his project to his second grade

class, his entire school, on the local news, at church, and at Cub Scouts. He has now created his very own website to help put all the information about his project in one place, and has now received worldwide attention for his work. So far in 2014 he has collected over 3500 pounds of food and over $4000 in donations. He has recently been contacted by The National Peanut Board, and has received $3500 from them to help continue to fight childhood hunger.. He has truly started a snowball!

In another update to this fabulous story, William was at it again on 4/18/15. He worked with over 150 volunteers at 10 local grocery stores and collected 9000 pounds of food and $11,000 to help feed hungry kids in his community. That brings his total to almost 14000 pounds of food and over $21,000 he has collected! Keep up with his at

The food drive kid fighting against childhood hunger

In his third year he collected 9000 lbs of food and $11,000 to fight childhood hunger!