Children who choose a cause within the community, and then create and execute an event to raise money for that cause… What can be better than that?! Kids Boost is an amazing organization whose mission is “to empower future philanthropists and social entrepreneurs ages 8 to 14”. “So many kids want to give back, but they just don’t always know how”, says Kristen Williams, the founder and executive director of Kids Boost. The organization gives children in the program $100 to help fund their events, and a professional on-staff coach who meets with them weekly to ensure follow through. The coach will ask questions and encourage the participants to come up with personal and meaningful ways to give back philanthropically.
The first 2 questions asked are “What makes your heart happy?” and “What breaks your heart?” The answers to those questions typically determine how the child can best help the situation or circumstance that is most meaningful to that child. While each participant has a professional coach, the events are conceived, managed, and carried out by the children. The kids also get to present the actual “big check” to the recipients! “Throughout the project, the child will become a philanthropist and social entrepreneur, while learning important lessons in money management, civil engagement and communication.” Just, WOW!
The average age of participants is 11 – 12 years old, and the average amount raised by Kids Boost events is $2,200. When children this age are asked what their goal is, they typically answer somewhere between $200 – $500. Just imagine their reactions when they realize they may have exceeded their goals by five to ten times! Parents are strongly encouraged to step back and let their children take the reins, along with their coaches, to manage the projects themselves. The most common feedback received by staff from parents is the confidence boost the children in the program gain. “We get lots of kids who lack confidence or self-esteem, so helping with that is a big bonus!”, says Williams.
Kids Boost had their offices in Sandy Springs until the pandemic. After 2020, they kept working remotely, but many of their participants still live in Sandy Springs and host fundraising events here in our community. A pair of Sandy Springs siblings who are passionate about reading and baking, secured baking supplies from local businesses, baked hundreds of treats, packaged them with their own logo, and sold them to friends and family to raise money to help less fortunate students get books to read through a nonprofit called Purpose Built Schools. They raised over $1,000 which enabled them to help provide a book to every elementary student in a summer learning program. They were onsite to personally help distribute these books to the students as well. Another Sandy Springs youngster who wanted to help children without homes chose to support the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. She organized a yard sale that also featured a bounce house and bake sale. She turned her $100 start-up money into $3,262 and was super proud to present the giant check herself!
How can I help?
Kids Boosters are typically between the ages of 8 -14, but there are plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to be involved. While the children organize and manage the events, adults are needed to donate various items such as venues, supplies, etc. Special talents are needed as well. Adults are paired with their passions, such as art, sports, jewelry-making, cooking, etc. Simply complete the volunteer application and let them know how you would like to be involved!
What makes kids boost different?
This is one of the few organizations where recipients of the fundraising events can, and often do, turn around and host an event of their own to pay it forward. The $100 seed money given to every Kid Booster combined with donations that the kids go out and procure themselves allows any child to participate in the program. Kids Boost has created the ability for every child of any background or socio-economic status to become empowered to make a difference in the world.
All of us understand the value of teaching our children “how to fish”. Here is an organization within our community that not only helps us teach our youngsters how to fish, but also teaches them how they can feed those fish to others in need! All of us encounter hardship at some point. There is no question that helping others during their tough times reminds us of the things that we are grateful for in our own lives. Kids Boost helps children fulfill the desire to help others, and hopefully, ignites a passion to continue service throughout their lifetimes.
Donate to a current Kids Boost project
Small Give. Big Impact. – One day smaller projects for kids’ teams, troops, and groupsThe Big Give – One day bigger projects for families and companies