NEWS

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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. 

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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 18 year old Sophie from St. Louis, MO who has been awarded two K4C microgrants for her service projects. Sophie is passionate about service and is currently the President of VolunTEEN Nation and Grow Healthy. Sophie’s latest project involved expanding Grow Healthy to Kansas City, MO to engage teens in building and growing multiple gardens. Kansas City is similar to St. Louis in that it has both a high rate of childhood obesity and numerous families struggling to provide healthy and nutritious food options to their children. Sophie recruited & organized teens in the area to build 8 raised vegetable garden beds at low-income daycares from August through October in the effort to raise awareness of childhood hunger in the community. All produce grown through Sophie & her team’s efforts was donated to families-in-need and to local area food banks.

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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. Microgrant recipient Minh of Louisville, KY has been working with a nonprofit called STEMY (STEM + Youth). STEMY has focused its energies on 90-120 local middle school students, specifically from underrepresented backgrounds in the STEM fields and makes STEM fun for students. For Minh’s project, STEMY Academy, two versions of sessions exist:  A) every other week at 3 underserved middle schools for exposure purposes, and B) 3-hour sessions after school and/or on weekends for more intensive instruction. All sessions focused on educating students about real-world problems being solved through STEM. Minh + others involved in STEMY (Betty, Priya & Allison) participated in the interview below.

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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. Music For All is a program that microgrant recipient Megan (16) created when she was 14 years old to provide free music lessons to underprivileged youth in her community. When she was in elementary school, the music program was cut. Megan identifies as an orchestra student and met many of her close friends in her music class. She reached out to Sacred Heart Community Service in 2016 to share her mission and passion for bringing free music education to underprivileged children who attend their education program. Specifically Megan used her award to run a summer school program and provide keyboards for children at Gardner Academy. Most of the children who attend this school are living below poverty level.

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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. Microgrant recipient Jessica used meditation and yoga as a way to focus some of the sadness and stress she felt after a friend took her own life into positive energy. During that time, Jessica realized that this was something she wanted to share with others as a way to deal with difficult life events. Her project, Minds Over Mats, brought yoga and mindfulness programming to after-school programs that serve underprivileged students, and she also runs her own blog entitled Yoga 4 Youths.

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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. 13 year old Ethan from Los Gatos, CA started a project in 2016 called 3 Helping Hands. Because he is aware that in his community alone, 6500 known children experience homelessness, Ethan used his K4C award to organize an event and purchase care package items for homeless children including school supplies to emphasize the importance of education, encouragement notecards, supplies and craft items. During the event he gave a “Believe In Yourself!” motivational speech and, with the help of his team, provided craft time for the children. Afterwards the children attending the event received the care packages assembled by Ethan and his team. Additional care packages were also distributed to StandUp For Kids, Reach Academy in Oakland, and Seeds, as well as street and homeless children/youth emergency shelters.