RandomKid is an organization that my daughter has been involved in for about a year. I wrote about the organization here.
It is a unique organization because it is focused on kid initiated, kid directed projects. Check out the project page
of their website. These aren't adult projects where kids can
participate. These are projects that kids have thought up, and through
the support of their parents, families, friends and RandomKid, are
either making a difference or a looking for the funding to start.
Here is their latest newsletter. I post it to bring encouragement
and opportunity. Share it with kids that you know. Maybe one of them
has a project idea that RandomKid can help them start.
National Task Force Visits the Gulf
Watch NBC Nightly
News This Sunday, December 23*for a Special Report on RandomKid's Water Project.
I’m really excited for
you to read what we have to share with you in this newsletter. RandomKid’s National Task Force to Rebuild the Gulf, a
group of 10 kids from around the country, had the opportunity to visit the
largest chapter of Habitat for Humanity, tour and volunteer in the gulf, thanks
in large part to a grant from Target Corporation and a kind invitation from the Mississippi Gulf Coast chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Our
mission was to witness the progress that’s being made, the work that still
needs to be done, and report back to kids across the USA to encourage continued
There are still nearly 60,000 people living in
FEMA trailers over two years after Hurricane Katrina. Faith has
helped them all get through a tough time. It is a message we hear from everyone
over and over again. They also are being helped by Habitat for Humanity, the
Salvation Army and the countless volunteers that go down there to rebuild
homes. But none of this can happen without money. We can’t allow ourselves to
be tired of the story because it’s old news and we want to move on to something
new. We have to commit to helping every last hurricane survivor back on their
feet. It is the patriotic thing to do, and our human responsibility to
help people who can’t help themselves. We need to show them that the power of
their faith can also be seen in each of us, their fellow Americans who care.
All but one of the articles here were written by
the RandomKid Task Force kids. One column was written by our newest Board
Member, and dad of one of our Task Force members, Ed Brenegar. Please
take a moment to see the gulf from a kid’s point of view. We
hope you’ll help.
~Talia Leman, 12-year-old CEO, RandomKid
“The Gulf trip was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life! I got to
meet new people and help out in the Gulf. After being there, I’ve
come up with a new idea on how to children in that area. I LOVE
being a part of RandomKid!” –Task Force Member, 10-year-old Emma
Having Hope and Faith on the Gulf Coast
By Task Force Member Shelby of North Carolina
Nasheka Chatman and
her three children met with the RandomKid Task Force on a warm Fall day in
Biloxi, Mississippi. Chatman has been living in a FEMA trailer with her
three small children and her husband for over two years now. The FEMA trailer that
the Chatman family is currently living in is 10 feet by 40 feet, or about the
size of your garage. They are very cramped and there is not a lot of
privacy. When Nasheka was asked how she has gotten through everything over the
past two years, she replied, "with prayer, lots of prayer."
Chatman says she has had lots of support from family and friends. Of all the
things that this family lost, what they miss most are family pictures. She
wants other people to know that Habitat for Humanity was "sent by God. The
people were sent by God." Nasheka's children, ages 4,6 and 7 have put lots
of thought into what colors they will paint their new bedrooms. The
family is moving into their Habitat house on November 12th and they are going
to celebrate by making a sign for the front yard that says, "Thank You
Jesus for our new home." Chatman reminded us that, "People on the
Gulf are doing okay. We still need you're help, but we are okay. People here
are strong in their hearts." When asked what other Katrina victims should
remember, she thought for a moment, then added, "Don't give up on your
dreams [of getting out of a FEMA trailer and into a new home]."
“They will remember this trip for years to come. So will
I. Nicholas is already brainstorming new ideas. He can’t
wait for the next conference call!” –Task Force Mom, Kelly
By Task Force Member Nicholas of Massachusetts
As the jazz music
dies; the scent of beignets disappears; the wrought iron architecture ends; and
the skyline of the French Quarter blends in with the horizon, the memory of the
destruction comes back to mind. The bus
rattles and shakes along the highway. We pass abandoned homes and empty lots –
painful reminders of the past. I can’t
help but think of everything lost during the storm. There are so many still
left with so little. It makes me feel
like I need to do more. Money is really
necessary to help others. I am
reinvigorated. I am inspired to take up
the task where I left off. I will once
again look for new and creative ways to get others interested in the Gulf Coast
disaster. So many have forgotten. But not me. I want to help the poor people of Mississippi and Louisiana. And I will.
Click here to DONATE to RandomKid’s “Rebuild the
Gulf Fund.” 100% of your donation will go to our “Rebuild the Gulf” program,
90% of which goes directly to building a Habitat for Humanity house in Biloxi,
“Being a RandomKid parent has been an amazing experience! I feel
blessed and renewed as I see our children...our
FUTURE... at work, giving so selflessly of themselves and their
time! I feel like I’m along for the ride of a lifetime as I see what
these children are able to accomplish through their hopes, dreams, and
energies!” -Task Force Mom, Eldonna
A "Taste" of the Gulf
By Task Force Member Emma of Iowa
(Editor's Note: These are
reflections written after a day when the task force got to experience many
of the wonderful, unique things about the Gulf Much of their
time was spent in the New Orleans area on this day, and Gulf Port /
Biloxi the other two days.)
Our day started with a
LONG bus ride! During the ride we rode on the bridge over Lake
Ponchartrain. It was really scary because the bridge went on and on for
miles over nothing but water! It was a funny feeling!
When our ride was done
we ate brunch at Court of the Two Sisters in New Orleans! It was really
good food, and they had a jazz trio playing that was fun to listen to. I
tried crawfish for the very first time (I don't think I'll try it again for
awhile!), and I also tried grits (I'll pass on those next time too!). But
the omelets were super, and so were the desserts!
After brunch we went
on a ferry ride across the Mississippi River. It was really cool!
Even cars could drive right onto the ferry so they could cross the river!
That was a strange sight!
After the ride we went
to the Swamp Fest at the Audubon Zoo. It was neat seeing al those
animals! It's hard to believe that alligators can be so dangerous because
they looked really lazy and didn't even move a muscle!
Next we went to Cafe
du Monde (that's where the picture of the task force above was taken), and ate
bengiets. They tasted like funnel cakes at our State Fair, only
better! I ate three! We then had about an hour to walk around in the
French Quarter and do things. It was really fun. My mom and I had a
street artist draw our caricature! We look kinda funny in it...he gave us
real big heads and big teeth!
Then we went to the
"old" Brock Elementary in Slidell that had been destroyed by
Katrina. We interviewed the principal, Rose Smith. The school was
all boarded up, but they're working on the inside and hope to be in by next
We then saw the
current school the Brock students are in. They all have double-wide
trailers for their classrooms. It was neat seeing all the things they've
been through and knowing that they have never given up hope. Their
trailer classrooms were actually very, very nice and big. It was a nice
feeling to know the kids can have good classrooms until they get back in their
At the end of the day
we ate at the Southside Cafe. It was really good food...I had fried
oysters! I like oysters anyway, and these were yummy!
After that we went
back to our stadium and went to bed. It was a good, busy, and tasty day!
“We are honored to be hosting these children here in the gulf.
They have proven to be a driving force in bringing awareness to our gulf
rebuilding efforts, and we hope that their reports from the gulf will inspire
many more children around the country to continue to help rebuild the thousands
of homes that were destroyed by the 2005 hurricanes.” ~Kent Adcock, Director of
Business Development & Community Relations for Habitat for Humanity of the
Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Carabiners: A Kid’s Idea and a RandomKid “Micro Loan” are Catalyst
to Gulf Trip
Leman, RandomKid CEO and Task Force Member
It all started with our carabiners. You know, those cool clips you can stick
on your backpack, key chain, and just about anywhere else (They make GREAT GIFTS—HINT HINT!! Click here to buy some!). Click here to read backstory on carabiners.
Kent Adcock with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Habitat for Humanity received
a carabiner at Habitat for Humanity’s “1000th
Home Celebration.” He thought they were pretty cool, and called us up
to see if we’d partner with them to sell carabiners with their logo and
our logo on them at a big event with professional golfers in
November. Next thing you know, he invited the task force to
come! But we still had a big hurdle: How to pay for everyone to get
there. That’s where Target Corporation comes in. Hooray for Target!
They helped the entire task force come together in the gulf. The Task
Force has worked together for over a year, and finally met in person for
the first time. We stayed in the Salvation Army’s VolunteerVillage
in Biloxi, MS. The Salvation Army ROCKS! We met a really great kid
named Conner there. He and his family moved to Biloxi to help the
Salvation Army after the 2005 hurricanes, and they’ve been serving volunteers
in the MS Gulf Coast now for a year and a half. I am happy to say that
Conner is the newest member to our task force!
by Anne Ginther, President of RandomKid
are many more stories to tell. "RandomKid National Task Force to
Rebuild the Gulf" members met kids who had to swim through their house to
get to safety, parents who lost everything. Can you imagine having
survived such a disaster and then living in temporary housing for over two
years, knowing that there may be thousands ahead of you on the building
GOAL: Break ground on a RandomKid / Habitat
for Humanity house in Biloxi in 2008 = $25,000 needed!
children on the Task Force were so moved by what they saw, that they have
decided to set a goal to raise enough money to break ground on a MS Gulf Coast
Habitat for Humanity house in Biloxi in 2008. These kids have already
raised a lot of money with their entrepreunrial ideas. They need to raise
$25,000 more to be able to break ground on a house. Please help these
kids make their goal, and help a family into their home.
click here to donate online using any major credit card, or
make out a check to
"RandomKid - Rebuild the Gulf",
and send it to:
P.O. Box 2064
McKinney, TX 75070.
the coming months we'll share more of stories, photos and video from the Task
Force trip. We'll also introduce you to the new things they are doing to
help our fellow Americans in the gulf.
thought we'd close with some favorite quotes from Task Force member Shelby:
the CHANGE you want to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi
*A big shot is a little shot that kept shooting.-Unknown
are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come
true. You may have to work for it, however. -Richard Bach
you for not only helping the gulf, but helping KIDS realize their power to help
RandomKid National Task Force to Rebuild the Gulf:
Tiron, Shelby, Tonisha, Sarah, Talia, Lanna, Emma, Tonisha, and Conner
Ginther, RandomKid President
RandomKid Quick Links
Other RandomKid Projects
The Kids on the Task Force
Comment: I written about RandomKid previously here . You are going to hear more from me about RandomKid. I've just joined their board. I believe in their mission. I endorse their - our - mission because it is about the Kids and their ideas, and their leadership and their impact.
Your financial support will help kids make difference. I hope you'll consider making a donation. You are not only investing in the future, but making a difference today.