Q&A With Microgrant Recipient William


Microgrant recipient William (14) from TN used his award to make vanilla extract that he sold at the Knoxville Boat Show. The founder of Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow, William makes, sells and ships his homemade formula across the country to customers, and 100% of the profits are donated directly to a local food bank that provides meals for East Tennessee residents in need. Every dollar donated results in 3 meals. So each bottle of his homemade vanilla extract turns into 42 meals for others. During the time period William ran his K4C project, a corporate sponsor matched William’s donation, so each bottle actually resulted in 84 meals for those in need!

  1. What inspired you to start this project? I was inspired to start this project after the effects COVID-19 had on people in my community. As more and more people became food insecure, I could not simply watch. I felt that something had to be done.
  2. While working on your project, what surprised you? I have been so surprised by the kindness and support from total strangers while working on my project. I did not expect the response to my initiative to be so positive. I am so grateful for the support from everyone who has bought my product and sent letters of encouragement.
  3. What do you feel you learned from this experience? I feel that I have learned how to better manage my time from this experience. Finding a balance of time between Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow and every other aspect of my life has helped me develop time management skills.
  4. How did Karma for Cara impact your project? Karma for Cara has been able to help cut down on the expenses that come from running a nonprofit. This help has allowed me to donate more money from vanilla sales that can help those in need. 
  5. How will your project continue to impact others? My project will continue to sell homemade, pure vanilla extract and donate every penny to my local food bank. This will provide healthy meals for thousands in my community when they need it most.
  6. How many hours did you spend on your project? 1190
  7. How many youth volunteers or students were involved in your project? 11
  8. How many total hours did other youth volunteers or students spend on your project? 65