100 Kids Who Care: Small humans making a big difference

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For what these pint-sized philanthropists lack in height, they make up for in heart.

Tara Black and Olivia Oosterbroek are the masterminds behind the local chapter of 100 Kids Who Care. At only 10 and 12 years of age, they are inspiring like-minded children who care about their community to come together and collectively make a difference.

The idea is a spinoff of two groups that have been running in Lethbridge for a few years -100 Women Who Care and 100 Men Who Give a Damn. The premise is people gather together, usually quarterly, to learn about three local non-profit organizations, nominated by their members. Representatives are invited to do a short presentation to explain how their organization would benefit from the donation.

Each woman or man donates $100 and at the end of the meeting, they vote on which organization should receive the pool of money. It’s a way to make your dollar stretch farther to create a greater impact for one organization in need.

But children don’t typically have that kind of money. So, for 100 Kids Who Care, each child commits between $1-$10, very likely a portion of their allowance. While it may not seem like a lot at first, together the donations make a great impact. These generous kids raised $421 at their first meeting for KidSport, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to kids who want to play sports but whose family may not be able to afford it. Inclusion Lethbridge was chosen to receive the $229 donation raised by 26 kids at their second meeting in November, held at Geomatic Attic.

“We just want to be able to raise money for charities in need,” says Tara. “I think that charities that need help should get the help they need.”

Yet it’s not all about the money. Tara and Olivia spoke about the importance of children learning about what is happening, and who needs help, within their community. It’s an awareness that both girls gained after attending 100 Women Who Care with their mothers, inspiring them to begin this outlet for children to give back.

“I think that kids should know these things too. It’s important,” says Tara.

“When we went to the first 100 Women meeting, I didn’t know about any of those things happening. It was just really awakening,” says Olivia. “People say our generation is the future, so if we start now and we start young I guess, then it will become a habit and something that we start to do.”

One hundred per cent of the event proceeds go to the non-profit organization chosen. Therefore, the group relies on sponsors to provide a meeting space, snacks for the kids, and door prizes.

100 Kids Who Care is open to all kids ages 7-17 who want to make a difference. Their next meeting will be held in February. While they are happy with their meeting attendance so far, they hope to inspire even more children to be a part of something significant in our city. For more information, find them on Facebook @100kidslethbridge.

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