Anyone has the power to save the world.
"Dear fellow human beings, are we doing the best we can do, or can we do a little bit more to create a better world?"
This is a question we should all be asking ourselves every so often. It's also part of a pledge written by 10 incredibly socially conscious individuals who all happen to be under the age of 18.
And they're not just any ordinary group of kids. They were named the 2016 Hasbro Community Action Heroes, because of the exemplary volunteer work they've done for their local and/or global community.
Take, for example, Paloma Rambana, who is working to increase services available for visually impaired kids ages 6 to 13 in Florida, her home state. Legally blind herself, she's intimately familiar with what's lacking in this area. That's why she led rallies in Washington D.C. and lobbied the Florida legislature, urging them to approve a program for Florida's blind and visually impaired children. Her work eventually succeeded, and now the program has $1.25 million of government funding with $500,000 recurring annually.
Her efforts are just one example of the kind of world-changing work that kids are doing today.
That's why since 2010, Hasbro recognized extraordinary kids, aged 5 through 18 like Paloma, who've found unique ways to make the world a little better.
It's all part of their Be Fearless Be Kind initiative, Hasbro's largest philanthropic initiative, which strives to empower kids to be courageous, compassionate, and look out for others. This empathy, of course, also inspires social good trailblazers like the ones above.
Kids are often told they don't have the power to create change because they're young, says Community Action Hero Josh Kaplan. This initiative's mission is to show kids they're never too young to make a difference by spotlighting their peers who have already begun to make changes in the world. And hopefully, that will encourage more kids to get out there and find their philanthropic passion.
[rebelmouse-image 19533354 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Josh Kaplan and Zoe Terry, two Hasbro Community Action Heroes. Via Hasbro." expand=1]Josh Kaplan and Zoe Terry, two Hasbro Community Action Heroes. Via Hasbro.
Sometimes an opportunity to do good in the world can come out of something you already love doing.
Josh Kaplan, for example, loves soccer, so he started an inclusive soccer program that brings kids with special needs and kids without together.
It’s called GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All Who Love Soccer), and it’s working to break down the barriers that exist between kids with intellectual disabilities and their neurotypical peers. So far, his program has positively impacted over 400 kids with special needs.
Meanwhile Zoe Terry started Zoe's Dolls, a nonprofit which gives away dolls of color to little girls who are less fortunate. She hopes the dolls help the girls feel special and give confidence to those dealing with bullies.
And Aidan Thomas Anderson used his love of music, specifically the harmonica, to raise funds to send medications to kids in need in Africa. He has since spoken to kids in over 30 countries about finding ways to give back through your passion.
Each of these amazing missions came from one kid's brain. Take that, adults who think kids are too young to make an impact!
That said, in order for social good movements like this to stick, the philanthropic torch needs to be passed onto like-minded heroes.
So, with the help of acclaimed poet Max Stossel, these Hasbro Community Action Heroes wrote a letter to the world encouraging others who believe in social change to join the mission to better the world.
Here are some of the highlights of their call to action:
Dear fellow human beings, are we doing the best we can do, or can we do a little bit more to create a better world?”
A world where everyone has an open mind. A world of tolerance and acceptance. A world where when one of us rises, we all rise. A world where everyone has a home. A world where every single person gets the love and respect they deserve.
That is a world that is within our reach. But change won’t happen unless we make it happen, so let’s be brave enough to take action, to be leaders in change, to know that it only takes one person to make a difference, to stand up for each other. It starts with each and every one of us.
I pledge to be fearless and kind. To stand up for those who need my help. I stand up for all of us by doing whatever I can, because I can.
These kids are a reminder that every one of us has the power to make a difference.
Kids and adults can start by taking the Be Fearless Be Kind pledge themselves, which will hopefully inspire them to step outside and do some good. They can take the pledge online as part of YSA's Kindness Rising campaign, and then search for different projects and activities to put their pledge into action.
They don't have to start their own nonprofit — their contribution can be as simple as hosting a coat drive on their block, or cooking dinner for an elderly neighbor. It's just about making an impact on a person or a group that could use some help.
And there's no better time to do that than the present.
Find out more about the Hasbro Community Action Heroes and Hasbro's Be Fearless Be Kind Initiative here: