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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. 16-year-old microgrant recipient Amanda used her award to support the Rainwater Harvesting Garden in Prescott, AZ. Amanda’s  school, Tri-City Prep, their Green Team environmental club, and other volunteers purchased architectural supplies & transformed a large, underutilized space into a garden and outdoor classroom/study area. Tri-City Prep’s biology, art & photography classes use the garden, and the space provides an outdoor area for general use.

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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 microgrant recipient Angelina from the Oakland, CA area. She used her award to purchase items to include in care packages that would go to needy members of her community. Angelina worked with 30 youths of the outreach program she directs and also partnered with UC Berkeley, and CalHabitat. She and her event partners held a food & clothing drive to collect other needed items. Volunteers helped to create 150-200 care packages of food, clothing and toiletries. Care packages included; a drink & a meal, a bag of chips, a granola bar, fruit cups, hygiene kits, and words of encouragement.

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As most of you know, Cara Becker was diagnosed with leukemia in the fall of 2012, and during the course of Cara’s treatment, she and her family started Karma for Cara Foundation.

When Cara passed away in December 2012, Jenny—Jill Becker’s sister & Cara’s aunt—handcrafted a cuff in Cara’s favorite color (orange) adorned with the protective eye and gave it to Jill as a gift. Though they did not know it at the time, this cuff–now called the “Karma for Cara Cuff”–was the beginning of Lema J Design. Lema J donates 100% of the profits from every sale to Karma for Cara Foundation, giving life to their #CuffsForACause.

What follows is an interview with Jenny about Cara, Lema J Design & Karma For Cara.

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17-year old microgrant recipient Anya from Pennsylvania used her award to launch an ongoing summer camp through STEM You Can! an organization that offers free science programs to encourage girls to join STEM fields. Anya is in the process of training eight female peers at her high school to bring the camp to new locations including Illinois and Indiana. Each peer volunteer will commit about 20 hours to volunteering in order to run the camp.

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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. 14-year-old microgrant recipient Angelina’s project, Soaps for Floats, was a one-day fundraising event in which people donated soap bars, body wash, laundry detergent, dish soap, and other toiletry products in exchange for an ice cream float. Event attendees were also able to purchase the ice cream floats with money in lieu of a soap donation. The money raised was donated to a local food pantry, and all donated items were distributed to low-income individuals who were unable to purchase these specific items with food stamps.

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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 & volunteers with her nonprofit Code Read spread a love of reading and provide kids in low-income communities with books of their own at home. Code Read partners with schools, and students earn “book bucks” from teachers for good behavior which they can then use to purchase books from Code Read.

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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 microgrant recipients and brothers Lucas and Cooper of West Orange, NJ. They used their award to help their mom with The Giving Tree project at her school. She helps all the needy families in her school by getting donations from other teachers.  The Giving Tree Project provides children with coats, clothes, and new toys for the holiday season. Lucas and Cooper made breakfast baskets. They wanted to put together breakfast baskets for the families to have a special breakfast together on Christmas morning.

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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. 12-year-old microgrant recipient Antavius used his award to launch a beautification project at his school. Antavius and other students of the Youth Empowerment Academy of Vance County Schools planted three trees to create a foundation for a garden for the school. This was the first step in the beginning of beatification of the school grounds and would later become a garden for the academy (in which students would plant flowers). The students at the academy are children who are on long term suspension and remediation and would like to still have somewhere to complete their schoolwork and not get too far behind in their studies. They want their school to look like a school and not a prison.

 

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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 9-year-old microgrant recipient Grace Lauren from the Philadelphia area. She used her award to purchase new toys to donate to The Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. Grace worked with her Service Learning Club and created a toy activity box that is now installed in the department.

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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. A 13-year-old from Summerville, SC, John Michael used his award to give back to members of his community in homeless shelters. His project involved learning how to cook and teaching his peer volunteers how to cook and man the grill. John Michael prepared and distributed full meals for men in a homeless shelter which included a protein, a veggie, and a side dish.