Kayla Abramowitz, 15, is the Founder and Chief Kid Officer (CKO) of Kayla Cares 4 Kids, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that collects and donates educational and entertainment items to children’s hospitals nationwide. Kayla Cares 4 Kids “helps sick kids feel better one smile at a time.”
Kayla came up with the idea at age 11, after noticing a limited DVD selection during many hospital visits, due to Crohn’s Disease, Eosinophilic Colitis and Juvenile Arthritis. Kayla’s youngest brother has also been hospitalized many times for Juvenile Arthritis and Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
What began in 2013 as a grassroots collection of 100 DVDs for a Miami hospital has blossomed into a national enterprise, with more than 15,000 DVDs, books, video games, game consoles and electronics donated to nearly 450 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in all 50 states. Kayla oversees 11 Ambassadors across nine states—and hundreds of student volunteers locally—while also serving on her organization’s Board of Directors.
For her efforts, Kayla has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt’s “Inspiring America”, “Time for Kids” magazine and on ItsYourWorld.com by Chelsea Clinton. Kayla has also received six national awards, including the 2017 WEGO Health Awards “Best Team Performance” and the Office Depot Foundation “Listen, Learn, Care Youth Award.” She was named “2015-16 National Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Kayla was one of 10 national “Prudential Spirit of Community Award” winners; the sole recipient of the “2016 Christopher Reeve Service Award;” and was one of 14 “Diller Teen Award” winners in 2016. Kayla has been honored by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida with the “Champions of Service” Award; recognized by the CFO of Florida, the Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach Town Councils; and has received multiple scholarships from charitable foundations for her philanthropy.
Kayla’s dream is to help make sick children all over the world, no matter what their illness, feel happier through the donations and kindness of others.
“These donations give the kids an opportunity to escape from their illness and make them feel happier while they are at the hospital. My brother and I know what it’s like to spend weeks in the hospital, not feeling well, with nothing to do. The goal is to help prevent the kids from becoming frustrated and depressed by their situation. We want to bring happiness to children who are staying in the hospital and help them feel better.”