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, Riley, a 15-year-old who started Rainbow Pack, an organization that distributes new backpacks full of homework supplies to students throughout the Los Angeles area.
1. How did you become involved with Rainbow Pack?
I am the founder of Rainbow Pack. I started Rainbow Pack 5 years ago, at 10 years old, after a school field trip to a local elementary school. On this field trip I talked to a kindergarten girl who said that she wanted a box of the “skinny crayons” but her mom said she couldn’t afford them. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I went home to my mom and asked what I could do to fix this problem, and from that moment, Rainbow Pack was born.
2. Why is your work important to you?
Rainbow Pack is important to me because it is simply unfair to think that there are thousands of capable, bright, excited students out there that get so discouraged at such a young age, just because they can’t afford basic school supplies. It is amazing for us to read through the thank you notes and see how many of the kids wrote that when they grow up they want to help kids like themselves who don’t have school supplies. Knowing that even one child was inspired to grow up and want to help others is an amazing feeling but to know that dozens of kids have been inspired to grow up an want to help others is truly overwhelming (in a good way).
3. How did the money from the micro grant help with your project?
The Karma for Cara micro grant was HUGE for us. Since we usually raise money by having bake sales or yard sales or other fund raisers that are similar to that, we rarely get such a large sum of money at one time. This was incredibly helpful since we set such a huge goal for ourselves this year. The Karma for Cara grant helped us get over 300 backpacks!
4. What message of giving back do you have for others?
My message for other people would be to start a conversation. Identify something that you care about, something that is good you think there should be more of, or something you think is unfair or bothers you. Ask questions and talk to other people about it. Your questions that lead to conversations can lead to action and real positive change.