The following post is an interview I did with 10 year old Katie, who is sharing with us her experience of helping to end childhood hunger. She wanted to share this in hopes that you would follow in her footsteps with her fantastic ideas! Be sure to give her a warm welcome, she is an amazing young lady!
How did you first get involved in the fight against childhood hunger?
I first got involved with the fight against hunger when I received my cabbage seedling from a third grade cabbage program with Bonnie Plants. I planted my seedling, cared for it and it grew and grew and grew. When it was done growing in weighed 40 pounds. It was huge! My mom called Fields to Families and they helped us find a perfect home for my cabbage – Tri County Family Ministries. I brought it there and it fed 275 people. They let me serve my cabbage and it was so great to see what my cabbage did. People thanked me and it made me feel so good. For that one day I made a big difference in the lives of 275 people and I was only 9 years old. I had the idea that I could do more and help more people.
Can you tell us more about your fundraising efforts and garden?
I found a very creative way to launch my dream and start gardens. I entered the Amazing Kids! Launch My Dream! t-shirt design contest. You can see my cute t-shirt design at Meri’s site, www.verymeri.com. The profits I get from my shirt go towards the fight against hunger (10%). Amazing Kids! also gets 10% to help other kids launch their dream.
What were some of the first steps you took to work towards your dream?
My garden originated in May of ’08. We had all sort of plants. But the biggest was my cabbage! It stood out with it’s soaring cage around it to protect it from wild animals.
How have others helped your work towards your goal?
So many people helped me- Fields to Families found the right soup kitchen which started my dream and now they are helping me to be a Master Gardener. Meri from VeryMeri has helped by selling my shirt to raise money. Amazing Kids! selected me as the winner and are helping to Launch my dream also. My family helps me everyday by encouraging me and my school has been great by helping me start a garden.
What is your inspiration, have others around you inspired you?
I was inspired by seeing how many people don’t have food to eat. My parents always told me not to waste food but I didn’t really understand until I went to Tri County Family Ministries. Now I see the news at night and there are even more people who need food because they have lost jobs. If I can help even a few of them it will be great. I hope when other kids see what I have done that they will help too.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope in the future to have lots of gardens that can grow food for thousands of people. I hope lots of people will buy my ‘No Hungry Kids’ shirt so I can help fund the gardens. The shirts also are a great way to spread the word. It would also be great if one kid from each state would agree to start a vegetable garden and donate the harvest to their local soup kitchen. Together would could make a huge difference in the fight against hunger.
How can others help you with your current projects?
I would love to have other people help with my dream and it is so easy and fun. If you have a spot in your back yard you can start a garden or if you don’t have a spot in your yard you can use planters to grow vegetables. You can start with seeds or seedlings from a garden center and then water your plants and care for them. When your vegetables are ready to harvest you can locate a soup kitchen to donate your food. It is a great project for the whole family, my little brother is helping me now with our garden at home.
If you could give advice to another youth about completing their goal to help others what would it be?
I don’t think it matters how young you are, if you have an idea find someone who will listen to you and don’t give up until you do. My family, my school, Amazing Kids, my friends and Meri from VeryMeri have all supported me and my dream. Hard work pays off and there isn’t anything you can do if you try.
Amy Jussel says
Love, love, LOVE this article! Vanessa, it’s an excellent example of a “Do1Thing.org” style child empowerment, and Katie, you are an inspiration for all. (I’ve never in my life seen such a big cabbage!) I wish we could crosspost/link to this on Shaping Youth down the line…I’ll have to check in with the ECP powers that be and see what’s possible there…This is definitely a ‘young people who rock’ story to share! 🙂 Congrats, Katie.
p.s. And speaking of feeding the hungry, here’s the corporate side of same, an interesting cause-marketing campaign created by Tide, for ‘loads of hope’ via Feed America.org: http://tinyurl.com/bm7lot