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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  Meet Codi from Chicago, IL. He & nine other youths aged 14-18 who are involved in the Youth Leadership Institute used their awards to learn fundamental leadership & facilitation skills. This past summer they used those skills to plan, market and execute 4 community tours and service projects within their communities. The purpose of the Youth Leadership Institute and the tours is to combat issues of isolation and negative stigma associated with the south and westside Chicago neighborhoods by encouraging interconnectivity and empathy across communities.

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Karma for Cara Foundation microgrants assist in funding exceptional service projects led by youth 18 years of age and younger working to better their communities. Meet microgrant recipient Quinn (17) from Portland, OR. With the help of other volunteers, Quinn delivered almost 1,000 Operation Tooth Fairy kits to low-income families of preschoolers in the Greater Portland area. She works with local Girl Scout troops to assemble and deliver the kits and partners with WIC to get the kits to those who need them.

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Karma for Cara Foundation microgrants help fund exceptional service projects led by youth 18 years of age and younger working to better their communities. Meet microgrant recipient Kaley (15) from Kaneohe, HI. She, other student government members at Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School and adult members of the community used her award to repair the school’s parking lot which was deemed unsafe for both cars and pedestrians. Additionally, the school does not have a gym, so all students use the parking lot for physical education classes.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  Hannah (15) from Chattanooga, TN used her award for the renovation of the library in the Westside Community Center which is located in a public housing development. Among other improvements, Hannah and classmates from Baylor School painted, repaired shelving, and contributed additional books to the library.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  Shyam (12) from Ann Arbor, MI used his award to fund a service project entitled Kindle Kingdom Summer Literacy Program. In collaboration with the Community of Action Network of Washtenaw County (CAN) ByKids4Kids designed a program to improve the language and literacy outcomes of 1st through 6th grade students. Shyam and other students involved in ByKids4Kids used Kindles to read to children instead of books because Kindles expose low income kids to technology and reduce paper usage. They want to give all children a chance to be successful in life and promote a lifetime of volunteerism and community service!

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  Mackenzie (18) from Canyon County, CA used her award for this year’s Code Read Book Fairs. Mackenzie founded Code Read in 2016 with the goal of bringing books to children who may not be able to afford them. Mackenzie and her team purchase books and book bags for elementary school children in low-income schools in Los Angeles County. Books are then distributed to K-6 graders via free book fairs, similar to Scholastic book fairs but with the exception that kids earn the books through good behavior and performance in the classroom.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet 17 year old Tracy from Philadelphia, PA.  Tracy belongs to Central High School’s Recycling Club, and she and other club members are trying to encourage recycling in and outside of school, as well as preserve and stabilize recycling at Central High. The Recycling Club is comprised of approximately 64 student volunteers who are all assigned individual floors at the school where they collect the recyclables directly from the recycling bins located in every classroom. The club’s goal is to inform the school and maximize the amount of waste being recycled. Tracy’s team conducts monthly audits by weighing the collected recyclables in kilograms in order to assess progress.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet 8 year old Riley from Bay City, MI. She and some classmates shopped for and purchased preemie clothing, mittens, and booties for babies who enter this world ahead of schedule, like she did. Additionally Riley and her classmates knitted hats to go along with the clothing, then they packaged up all the clothes and delivered them to McLaren Bay Region Hospital. Riley herself was born a month early and spent a week in the NICU. Her parents had no clothing for her so family members had to go shopping and deliver clothing to the hospital.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  Ada (12) from Harrison, AK used her award for Hope Chest, an ongoing project helping children of all ages entering foster care. Ada and volunteers purchased & assembled backpacks full of necessities and goodies such as toothbrushes, socks, underwear, toys, hair combs, shampoo, hair ties, deodorant, and other things depending on gender and age. She partnered with a local Department of Human Services worker to track the success and usage of Hope Chest in her county. 

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  With her award 15 year old Tara from Zionsville, IN hosted swim clinics for children with autism, ultimately calling the project Swimming For All. Tara’s inspiration was her uncle who is mentally disabled. When her grandmother who cared for the uncle passed away, Tara quickly realized that he did not know how to swim. She is a competitive swimmer and had worked with mentally disabled children in the past. Tara ran clinics twice a month which involved pool time followed by one-on-one instruction with volunteers and students.