Smiles That Heal (InJupiter Magazine)
JUPITER, FL – Kayla Abramowitz, 15, cares about sick children and strives to make a difference for as many as she can reach. What drives her? Well, she is one herself.
Kayla has lived with Crohn’s Disease, Juvenile Arthritis, and Eosinophilic Colitis, and those illnesses have unfortunately led to a few hospital visits—and yet it was one of these visits that sparked her altruistic crusade.
When she was 11-years-old, she had a long and difficult stay at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital that, after undergoing treatment, consisted of her being stuck in bed and watching movies. After a while, she found herself having to rewatch the same ones that were available. By the time she was able to walk the hospital halls, she noticed other kids stuck in their beds viewing the same movies she had seen on repeat. When she got home, she browsed through her family’s DVD collection and picked out the ones they didn’t watch anymore, and brought them over to the hospital on her next visit. The kids were so grateful for her gesture.
“My thought process was that if something so simple could give a lot of joy to others, why not do more?” says Kayla.
The Abramowitz family, Ben, Kayla, Ethan, Andrea and Michael, deliver books, DVDs and video games to Lori Matich, nurse manager of the pediatric unit at Martin Medical Center
In 2014, she enrolled in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, where she learned how to write the business plan that led to the founding of her 501(c)(3) organization, Kayla Cares 4 Kids (KC4K), for which she is now CKO (Chief Kid Officer). Through it, she collects entertainment items to donate to children’s hospitals and has now reached every children’s hospital and Ronald McDonald House in the country, donating over 15,000 items and counting. For her efforts, Kayla was also named National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
But although she heads a national nonprofit organization, Kayla takes pride in helping her local community and has donated items to many facilities in South Florida, including Jupiter Medical Center, Quantum House, and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.
“This experience has opened up my eyes to how much good there can be,” says Kayla. “Being able to see someone else smiling because of what you did is such a rewarding and healing experience. One small gesture can make a huge difference in your life and so many others.”
KC4K will turn five on Kayla’s 16th birthday this March.
For more information on how to get involved and support Kayla’s organization, please visit www.kaylacares4kids.org.
By Juan Sagarbarria