Monday, August 30, 2010

Staying Power

Covering so many kids who've taken a charitable idea and run with it, I'd almost started to think all it takes is caring, creativity, and a little elbow grease. An email this weekend from two teens reminded me of one more prerequisite: perseverance.

When high schoolers Henry Dyke and Casey Karnes set out this summer to collect hygiene supplies for their homeless peers in Chicago, they started by asking upscale city hotels for donations -- soon learning these businesses "were not all that interested in helping two teens from [the suburbs]."  They cast their net wider and started phoning, faxing, emailing and visiting suburban stores, congregations, and inviduals. The result? The two met their goal and were able to deliver to the Night Ministry 199 complete hygiene packs, plus $150 in leftover monetary contributions. If at first you don't succeed...    

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Make Art, Save Art

That's a campaign kicked off this month with partners HP and AMD. Students who create and share "an awesome PC wallpaper" can win $5,000 and 5 laptops for their school art program, plus a $1,000 scholarship. Go here for details.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tech Titan

A computer-obsessed 16-year-old may not sound all that unusual, but how about one who has channeled his passion into programs that protect the planet and help kids learn? That would be Alex Lin.

Not content just with the computer donation and refurbishment program he built in his hometown of Westerly, R.I., Alex created computer centers worldwide, providing 300 computers so far to students in the United States and abroad. Under his leadership, media centers have blossomed in Sri Lanka, Mexico, Cameroon, Kenya, and the Philippines, along with the U.S.

The adage "charity begins at home" isn't lost on him, either. Alex finds time somehow to help his 11-year-old sister, Cassandra, on a project that recycles used cooking oil into biofuel, which in turn is used to provide heating assistance to low-income families.

"Computers open an entire world of opportunities," Alex told ParentDish. Kudos to him for sharing that world with peers.