Most kids are all about playing with their toys, but Neha Gupta gave hers away. You could say that decision paid off.
Neha Gupta is pretty remarkable.
When she was young, her grandparents introduced a super-cool way to celebrate birthdays in their family.
"My grandparents, in India, had a tradition that if it was someone's birthday in the family, they would go to a local orphanage and celebrate their birthday there — get gifts and bring them to the kids."
So, when Neha turned 9, she decided to do something really brave that most kids would probably freak out about.
"It was when I was 9, that I felt that it was my responsibility to help these kids. I took all of my toys that I had, and I sold them. And I realized that, if I can raise so much money from one event, imagine the things that I could do if I kept going."
Her fearless decision to sell her toys sparked something bigger. Neha started Empower Orphans, her very own nonprofit that helps to empower orphans by providing them with education and resources to amp up their tech skills. And although she's young, she's confident of her mighty vision.
"This is our time to stand up and let our voices be heard. It is our time to be the igniters of change ...
I am a strong believer in the power of youth helping other youth. ... I want to grow it into an organization that supports the education of children around the world, and we need people's help for that. We want people to act as our ambassadors, spread the word, do their fundraisers, and implement projects in their own communities."
Neha's big dreams and bold actions have already brought in some impressive cash. Empower Orphans has raised $1.69 million and counting! She was also awarded the 2014 Children's Peace Prize for all of her fabulous work. Go, Neha!
To hear her story firsthand, check out the video below.
If you're inspired by Neha's story, visit the Empower Orphans website to learn more.