Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Matthew

 Karma for Cara Microgrants help fund exceptional service projects led by youth 18 and under working to better their communities. Read about our microgrant recipient Matthew, a 14-year-old who founded New Kicks for Kids in January 2015 to provide new shoes for kids living in homeless shelters.

1. What inspired you to start New Kicks for Kids?

I volunteer regularly with my church chamber orchestra by playing music at nursing homes, hospitals and homeless shelters. Once we were playing at a homeless shelter lunch and I saw several people crying. They kept thanking us for the music. I was so touched. That’s when I decided I wanted to do more and give back to the homeless, especially the children, so I founded a nonprofit organization, New Kicks for Kids, with a mission to provide shoes. We also provide other items such as underwear or school supplies if that’s what they need.

2. Why is your work important to you?

Last summer I came back from a short-term mission trip to Peru. It was a great experience and it made me realize we have so much yet we take it for granted. I feel responsible to give back to those who have less. Children should have shoes to go to school. They should have backpacks and school supplies.

3. How did the money from the microgrant help with your project?

I am grateful to Karma for Cara for the grant. It allowed my organization to provide the highly necessary items to the homeless families. I am planning a special event for this Christmas which is to deliver boots to the children. Boots are so expensive to buy, but children need them to keep themselves warm in the cold winter. Thank you for making my plan possible. I will keep you updated.

4. What message of giving back do you have for others?

Giving back to the community is a great feeling. You volunteer to give to others but at the end of the day, you feel energized for doing something good. It’s the right thing to do.