Dive Into Summer! (Chicago-Tribune)

When the kids whine that “There’s nothing to do!” and “Summer is sooo boring!” have the young ‘uns take a page from Kayla Abramowitz. The North Palm Beach, Fla., girl suffers from Crohn’s disease and juvenile arthritis, and her brother, Ethan, suffers from chronic gastrointestinal issues. That meant frequent visits and stays in a children’s hospital where the two kids soon ran through a meager collection of DVDs.

To help, Kayla set out to collect 100 new DVDs to donate to the hospital. Then she got her Girl Scout troop and elementary class involved and, after a local newspaper story ran, things took off. Now 13 years old, that effort has ballooned into Kayla Cares 4 Kids, an IRS-registered nonprofit that’s donated 8,100 books, video games and DVDs to 70 hospitals in 45 states. This month, Kayla won the $30,000 National Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholarship at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce America’s Small Business Summit.

To get your kids moving in a charitable direction, “Figure out what your child is passionate about, and have the child come up with ideas,” suggests Kayla’s mom, Andrea Abramowitz. “Let the child direct it. That’s why this has been very successful — it’s been driven by Kayla.”

As for the young philanthropist, Kayla says, “If they have an idea they shouldn’t be afraid to try it.”


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