HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--What started 10 years ago when a third-grader wanted to raise money to help kids in Hawaii is becoming a national wave.
After raising more than $420,000, Kidz For A Cause, a Honolulu-based organization of philanthropic kids run by an all-kids board of directors that benefits children’s causes, is launching a national effort in Orange County, Calif. benefiting kids at the Ronald McDonald House.
Nicki Lee, only 8 when she founded the organization, recalls simply wanting to help children at the Ronald McDonald House in Hawaii by putting on a kids’ concert in her parents’ living room partly because she wanted to meet Ronald himself but mostly to help other youths. Her first effort netted $1,100.
But everything changed when her mom, Cathy Lee, took her to the Ronald McDonald House in Honolulu to personally deliver the money and meet the children.
Lee says a light bulb went off. “That was a turning point,” Lee said. “I realized that you should never underestimate the power of kids to do good.”
The fundraising powerhouse is making its national debut with a kickoff event recruiting elementary through high school-aged youths to power the biggest kids campaign yet.
The event begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Villa, 510 E. Katella Ave. in Orange, Calif. Youths and their parents across the United States may participate in this national movement by visiting www.KidzForACause.org.
Children and their parents will learn to use their creativity for what Lee describes as “FUNraisers” that can be anything kids organize “such as craft fairs, sports clinics, pet walks – anything to help raise money for other kids."
That kid-powered movement to change the world started small with Nicki’s first fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House but grew to a thunderous force last year when Kidz For A Cause shocked the Hawaiian community by raising over $300,000 for new equipment for a Honolulu medical center’s neonatal intensive care unit, the very same facility where Lee received care as a premature baby.
Now, it’s coming full circle for Lee and Kidz For A Cause’s efforts to bring aloha to the mainland and raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Orange County.
Delanie Loera of Palm Springs, Calif. is bringing her family, including son Asher, 5, to the event. The Ronald McDonald House has been a lifeline for the Loera family who travels from their home two hours by car to medical facilities in Orange County.
Earlier this year, the family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for 52 days straight so Asher could receive urgent care for his severe spina bifida.
“Without the Ronald McDonald House, we’d be sleeping in our car – or worse, Asher would likely not be getting all the care he needs,” Loera said.
Loera says Asher is excited to participate in the national kickoff event and that Lee has inspired “the entire family to do more for our community and to put ourselves out there.”
The Loera family says they look forward to Kidz For A Cause. “We are excited about being a part of something bigger than us,” Loera said. “Seeing other kids excited like Asher is only going to push him to want to do more. His list of ideas for fundraisers just continues to grow.”
Lee says seeing firsthand the impact of Kidz For A Cause has forever changed her life. Now a senior in high school, Lee is excited to spearhead this national campaign and mentor the next generation of young leaders.
“Kid power will be on full display this year,” she said. “And the combined forces of today’s youth can really change the world for good.”
Kidz For A Cause 2017 National Kick-off Event
Sunday, Sept. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.
510 E. Katella Ave.
(Parents are encouraged to attend)
For more information, visit www.KidzForACause.org