Acts of Kindness, Acts of Impact: Young Leaders Transforming the World with GivingTuesdaySpark

Khloe Thompson In Ghana on a Buddy Bench Donated in part by Khloe’s fellow GivingTuesdaySpark Leader Sammie Vance © All Images Courtesy of Dante Plush

Khloe Thompson’s philanthropic journey began with an act of kindness. The 16-year-old international philanthropist, founder of GivingTuesdaySpark, and high school student shared the moment that started it all and how far she’s come because of it.

“It all started with a lady experiencing homelessness named Michelle,” shared Khloe. “I would see her daily on my way to school, and when I learned about homelessness, I had to do something about it. I knew I couldn’t just solve and end homelessness at that moment, but I did know I could do something to help make her life a little easier by providing her with things she needed on a daily basis. Being kind and helping one person turned into a journey of generosity and opened the doors to help so many others and motivate and inspire other young people.”

Khloe Kares grew and blossomed into national and international philanthropy. Khloe went from working with the homeless community to building water pumps in Ghana.

“In my process of doing community work, I’ve always had so much respect for Giving Tuesday,” she continued. “I reached out to them through an Instagram DM to let them know how much I would love to work with them and that I noticed that they don’t have a program or chapter for young people.”

Khloe explained that this simple message kicked off months of planning, building an idea of what that program would look like, who would be in it, and how they would launch it.

“I had considerable goals in my first year,” she said. “I wanted one million kids to be signed up and involved in Giving Tuesday! Now we have a great director, Dante Plush, and he’s excellent with young people. He gets us.”

What’s truly remarkable about GivingTuesdaySpark is the diversity of their leaders and their missions. Despite differences in age, background, and focus areas, they share a common goal—to ignite positive change in the world and inspire others to do the same.

Youth Heroes Taking Action

These remarkable leaders within the Spark community inspire us every day, each with a unique mission and unwavering dedication.

Lucy Blaylock © Courtesy of Dante Plush

Lucy Blayblock, 15, Gallatin, TN

Lucy Blaylock founded a non-profit called Lucy’s Love Blankets. She makes blankets for children who need a little extra love. She has made over 900 Love Blankets and has shipped them all through the U.S. and to 19 countries around the world. The youngest of nine children, Lucy loves a fierce soccer game, loves to sing, and is mildly obsessed with dill pickles. She lives by the motto “kindness matters” and is passionate about making the world a kinder place.

Arsh Pal © Courtesy of Dante Plush

Arsh Pal, 13, Chicago, IL

Arsh is the founder of the Artbyarsh project, which supports people in need by selling his artwork. Arsh started painting when he was eight years old. Meanwhile, he went with his mom to a nursing home, where she worked as an occupational therapist. Arsh would talk and play therapy games with the residents, and that made them smile and filled them with joy. These moments made him decide to sell his artwork and donate the proceeds to those in need.

Mateo Molina © Courtesy of Dante Plush

Sara, 17, and Mateo Molina, 16, Pleasanton, CA

Sara and Mateo created to help struggling families in Colombia. Born in the U.S. but with deep Latin roots, the two belong to communities that often seem part of different worlds. Every month, they bake and sell cookies in Pleasanton, their hometown, and donate 100 percent of the sales and donations to charities in Cali, Colombia.

They focus on helping vulnerable children and elders, and their priority has been to fund food for families in need and support children’s education. They partner with Casa San Jose, Chiquitines and Fundamor to ensure their contribution reaches those most in need. With the support of many, Sara and Mateo have baked over 9,000 cookies since starting in June 2020 and raised more than $20,000 for Cali’s families.

Their collective efforts have led to incredible results—for Giving Tuesday 2023, over 30,000 Spark Leaders actively engaged in acts of kindness. An inspiring testament to the power of young people, this unified group contributed significantly to the 500,000 acts of kindness shared across the globe.

These impressive young minds prove that age has no bearing on the power of kindness and that making a difference in the world around you can be as simple as sharing your passions and taking action for good.

“It was always a dream of mine to see Sparks all over the world have their ‘signature’ activation,” said Khloe. “And they are! Giving Tuesday is empowering young people to be active in the community. Having Giving Tuesday support and rally behind us is encouraging and validating. At the end of the day, we just need the tools to succeed. We need tools and support. Giving Tuesday allows us to make changes in the world. The organization has so many great young people with so much to offer. I’m so glad they took a chance on me and saw the value of investing in young people.”

Our shared humanity is a powerful force for creating positive change in the world. If kids and teenagers can come together around a common goal despite all of their diversity and differences, why can’t we, as adults?

Let’s spark generosity, one act of kindness at a time, and build a brighter future for all.

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