I met Leah Okimoto, Founder and Executive Director of Aaron’s Presents, over the summer of 2014. She shared with me the touching story of why she started Aaron’s Presents and I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved in her quest of offering an opportunity to children to start discovering what they have to give to the world. In October of 2014, Leah was a guest on my Sequin of Kindness™ TV show. During the preparation for the show, I learned a great deal about the positive projects that her recipients have thought of and carried out. Children in 8th grade and below can apply for support and resources in order to carry out a project in their community that benefits others.
What really struck me is that each project is a win for the children--the givers of the kind act--as well as a win for the people receiving the act of kindness. Aaron’s Presents, in its own unique way, not only is extending kind acts but allows the children to feel, firsthand, what kindness and compassion is all about. Leah stated during the show that “kids want to be kind” and I completely agree. Children who are involved in projects such as these do not bully other children and recognize, early on, the importance of giving.
I would love for all of us to make more of these “kind” projects possible in the months and years to come. If 25 people donate $10.00, this will create enough money for one project. 100% of the money raised by our Presents Fund will go solely to Aaron’s Presents project/mentoring expenses, and we will be able to track which projects are funded by us. If you would like to learn more information about Aaron’s Presents directly from Leah, click below for short clips or the full episode of the Sequin of Kindness™. Thank you for your consideration!
~ Barb Petricone
Dec 2015 Update December 14, 2015
Total to date: $565.00
Amount remaining to date: $58.64
Total # of Projects to date: 4
Total # of Youth Participants: 6
Approx. # of People Directly Impacted: 1,380
2015-16 Projects Funded
Great Time Harvest Time | $260.82 | Seven 6th-7th graders, some returning participants, planned and threw a Halloween party for families living at a homeless shelter in Lowell, MA.
They played with the children, decorated, carved pumpkins and shared a meal and many laughs!
2014-15 Projects Funded
Shannon’s Cards | $135.45 | Andover, MA: 6th grader created and packaged unique handmade cards and gave them out to people to brighten their days with an unexpected gift.
Coloring for Courage | $110.09 | Peabody, MA: 6th graders organized and designed a positive message poster campaign for Higgins Middle School in Peabody, MA. Posters will be framed and hung on the walls of the school.
Flying Books | $TBD | Lowell, MA: 6th grader organized a book drive of children’s books to be shipped at the end of this summer to the International Book Project and then to children in other countries.