Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Mackenzie


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.

  1. What inspired you to start this project? I am passionate about reading. My books are my treasures. Knowing that there are underserved youth who do not have access to a wide variety of books inspired me to found Code Read. I believe every child should have books of their own.
  2. Other than you, how many student volunteers participated in your service project? 18
  3. Other than you, how many adult volunteers participated in your service project? 10
  4. How many hours did you spend on your project? 50
  5. How many hours did other volunteers spend on your project? 25
  6. How many individuals were affected by your project? 1950
  7. During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you? I am always surprised by the enthusiasm displayed by the students who receive free books. They are so eager to choose their books and begin reading right away.
  8. Overall what did you learn from this experience? I learned that although I am just one person, I have the power to do something positive that will effect thousands.
  9. How will your project continue having an impact in the future? My project is not yet complete. We will visit two elementary schools this fall and distribute another 2000 free books. Code Read will continue to operate as a non profit and we plan to reach as many students as possible. I hope to open a new chapter of Code Read at Hofstra University in New York.
  10. How was the K4C microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? The Karma for Cara grant enabled me to purchase 500 books!!