My name is Caleb Oh and I am the founder of a non-profit organization called Kid Changemakers, and I'm here to talk to you today about volunteering.
Eight years ago, when I was six years old, I wanted to make a difference in my community.
I wanted to volunteer and what I found was almost all organizations have age restrictions. Like you had to be at least 18 years old to volunteer.
He was a little frustrated. And so, for me and my husband, it was time to kind of think brainstorm with him about how he might be able to help out and get back to the community.
This is when I decided to create my own organization, Kid Changemakers.
And Kid Changemakers collaborates with schools, businesses and other organizations,
to set up numerous food and collection drives throughout the year, to benefit the homeless, foster youth, the food insecurity and other causes.
We also try to help inspire and ignite a passion for serving the community in other youths, so they can start their own projects.
I wanted to volunteer when I was really young. I wanted to help people. I wanted to help people that couldn't afford food.
Yeah, that's really good.
So today, I did a little presentation and got the kids to do their own little project. They made cards for veterans.
Do you know what you are going to draw and write?
I don't know.
You don't know? You could do something like, 'Thank you for serving. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for your sacrifice.'
They also created little boxes, so they could put money for their own causes and donate that to a charity at the end of summer.
My name is Chrissy Ray and I'm the president and owner of Pongos Interactive.
我叫克丽丝· 雷，我是Pongos Interactive的主席及和所有者。
And I know Caleb from school. He went to school with my daughter.
We host Caleb's organization. He did another service project here where they were sorting school supply for kids.
Nearly two thousand students emptied out their desks and lockers the last week of school. We have cases and cases of donations.
It has been quite a journey for him. He's really matured and grown.
I know in the beginning, he was a little shy about talking to people about volunteering and the importance of sharing and being generous to each other.
But as he's grown up and really seen the difference that he's made, he's gotten more confident about speaking in front of people,
really brainstorming, really neat ideas about how to help people, not just in one way, but often 20 ways.
And he keeps me really busy. That means driving him to all these different events and volunteering not just in the state, but also in D.C., Virginia as well as Delaware.
All my classmates are very supportive of the initiative, the organization, and a lot of them are very excited to help.
Some of them approach me actually, just asking when the next program is, or when the next project is.
He's a perfect example of what we encourage students to do here. You know, to really take service as a serious part of being a good citizen and having sound academics.
Being involved in doing something beyond yourself, that is the key to having a strong society, one that perpetuates itself and does the right thing.
This year, I received the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which is the largest award that recognizes youth volunteers.
Everyone, no matter how old you are or who you are, can make a difference.
And that's what I thought when I started this organization.
Everyone can make a change. Everyone can be the force of change and make positive growth in their communities.