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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Sidney (16) from Ohio is very passionate about keeping the environment safe, so she created a vermicompost program & a community garden at her school, Laurel School, and called her project Girls for the Globe. The compost created was used in the soil for the community garden. With her award, Sidney added 4 beds to the 12 existing beds in the garden which included both produce & perennials. The produce was donated to decrease food insecurity in the Cleveland area while the perennials increased biodiversity, leading to a more sustainable environment.

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Meet K4C microgrant recipient Ashley (18) from MD. She and other seniors from Glen Burnie High School used her award for their capstone project which involved addressing student poverty in Anne Arundel County.  The group has a passion for helping others in their community, and their mission was to create care packages for middle school students who face challenges due to poverty, ultimately in hopes of boosting mental health. Ashley & her team targeted middle school students because “they are just beginning to understand the importance of mental health.” The team was also cognizant that middle school students are still at the age where they rely on their parents financially because they are not of legal age to work. Finally, the team chose to provide daily necessities in the middle school students’ care packages because they understood that some parents may not be able to afford those items.  Taking into consideration the age group they were supporting, the team also decided to assemble separate packages for female students to include menstruation products. Calling the project Love in a Box, the team set their goal at 100 care packages.

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Meet K4C microgrant recipient Olivia (15) from North Dakota. Olivia founded the nonprofit Warm Blanket Hugs when she was diagnosed with epilepsy 🧡 During her hospital stay, she received a handmade blanket which provided warmth & security, and, from there, her mission to provide that feeling for others began. For her project, Olivia & team provided 300 blankets to families in temporary shelters in her community during the cold North Dakota winter.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. In a local park, microgrant recipient Larisa (16) from PA implemented a storywalk, a series of wooden signs installed along a park trail, each sign displaying a page of an illustrated children’s book. Preschool to elementary school aged children-who naturally want to move around a lot–read the signs as they move along the trail. Larisa’ project combined two concepts she loves: the outdoors & books!

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Brandon (18) from WA secured his award for The Hope Festival, an annual student-run project that serves in-need families & individuals across the greater Seattle area. The Hope Festival provides over 1,000 individuals with free groceries, clothes, hygiene items, feminine/infant products, school supplies, and books & toys for the kids. Additionally guests receive free services like haircuts, massages, dental care, vaccinations, health screenings, and much more. Guests’ connections made with local agencies & organizations at the festival’s Connection Center provide support long after the festival ends. The Hope Festival’s goal is that every person served walks away with a newfound sense of hope.

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Meet K4C microgrant recipient Isabella (15) from PA.  She founded the youth-led initiative “I Matter” during the time of social unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd.  Seeing the video of George Floyd’s death and reading about the killing of Breonna Taylor changed her 14-year-old view of the world and inspired her to take action.  “I Matter” helps students from all backgrounds express their feelings through art about how Blacks are treated in society and engenders progress towards equality.  The top entries of poetry and art were made into a book which she & her team distributed to schools and libraries across the country.  The student winners were offered in-person and virtual speaking opportunities to develop their presentation skills and create a forum for them to inspire others.  

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Meet microgrant recipient Max (15) from Pikesville MD. Carrying on a tradition that his older sister (Morgan) started 7 years ago and older brother (Sam) continued, Max & the Medical Explorers Club at Pikesville High School feed the homeless in Baltimore and stock a food pantry for students in need at PHS.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipients and twins Arjun & Maya (13) from TX and other students on the honor roll at their school engaged in a project called BEAR Bags in Honor of Cara. The group put together & distributed healthy snack bags to deserving kids via food pantries:  “Especially since COVID 19, many people have lost their jobs & there are many hungry kids.”

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Meet microgrant recipient Abbigail (11) from West Virginia. For her project, she led a team of other students in an after-school program as they built & tended to a garden at the Wade Center. Together they 1) prepared the soil & raised beds, 2) planted seeds, 3) weeded, watered & cared for the plants, and 4) harvested & distributed their produce to families. All students were given gardening gloves and a paperback copy of Up in the Garden & Down in the Dirt to reinforce learning how to care for the plants & produce in the Wade Center garden.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Andrea (10) from Florida received two awards for her service project entitled Crafty Boxes Uplifting Kids which attempted to help sick children in hospitals feel better at difficult times by providing them with boxes filled with craft projects. The 4th and 5th grade classes at Andrea’s school helped by donating shoe boxes and supplies (glue sticks, scissors, 6 colors of paint & a paint brush, stickers & construction paper).  At the end of every month, she dropped off 15-20 crafty boxes at local hospitals. Andrea’s goal was to gift 190 boxes total for the first year of the service project. This project has special meaning to Andrea because 2 years prior to starting the project, she experienced severe stomach pains when with her mom at a church activity which resulted in a visit to the ER where she had her appendix removed.