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12 Awesomely Inspiring Kids Of 2011

When the bible says that a little child shall lead them, it is definitely referring to kids like these twelve. They have gone above and beyond what children their age group should have. Please read a little about them below and follow the link at the end to meet them:

1) Rachel Beckwith (9 years old) - One of Rachel's greatest wishes was to see enough wells built so that the people who are struggling with access to water would no longer have to. She made a birthday wish to raise $300 for this purpose, but her life was cut short before it could be realized. Rachel died in July of this year due to injuries she sustained in an automobile accident. Upon her sad passing, her wish was made known and gained a lot of attention. In fact, over $1,000, 000 have been donated to her wished charity - water, by inspired donors. Rachel, I hope you are in heaven smiling down at the effect you have had on this beautiful earth.

2) Jeff Hanson (17 years old) - Jeff Hanson has been diagnosed with an optic nerve tumor over five years ago. However, he has not allowed his condition to tamper with his desire and zeal to help others. He uses his creativity to paint and craft note cards which he sells to earn money to 50 children'' health charities. He has donated over $350,000 to his charities and for Jeff, this is just the beginning. To donate to Jeff's charity please visit here. We salute you Jeff, and we wish you well!

3) Evan Moss (7 years old) - Evan has shown that each of us can make a difference. He has been struggling with epilepsy ever since he was a baby. According to his parents - Rob and Lisa, his seizures were so bad he had to undergo surgery. His surgery did not completely solve his problem, he experienced less episodes but they lasted longer than prior to his surgery. In fact, he had to sleep between his parents with at least one parent holding on to him so as to be aware of his sudden, quiet seizures that he often endures at nights. He needed a special dog called a "seizure dog" so he could sleep in his own bed, and let the dog alert his parents when he has a seizure, but his parents could not afford it. However, Evan with the help of his parents wrote a book called "My Seizure Dog" with the hope of selling it to enlighten others and hopefully make enough money to get his dog. They have met and exceeded their goal, thank goodness! Evan was able to get his dog because of his love of writing and his parents help. I am sure you will be able to learn something from Evan by reading his book. You may purchase it here. You are a brave boy Evan, we wish you well!

4) Rachel Wheeler (12 years old) - Even at 12 years old, Rachel realizes the importance of education, and the connection education has with the quality and quantity of life one will have. When Rachel heard about the devastating 7.2 earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, she immediately thought "I have to help." She then set a goal of building 27 concrete homes in Haiti and raise over $175,000. She was touched by the overwhelming responses and contributing she made, and upped her goal a notch. She has now partnered with Food For The Poor in the hopes of raising enough money to replace a school that was destroyed by the earthquake. To donate to her Rachel's mission please visit here. Hats off to you Rachel!

5) Sam Maden (12 years old) - Upon learning about the results of the "It gets better" videos, Sam sets out to get one made by his favorite baseball team - Boston Red Sox, for the purpose of helping to stop the bullying of teen gays and lesbians in schools. He started a petition with his sight set on 9000 signatures, and has since accomplished and surpassed his goal. Sam accomplished his goal because he had confidence in the power of one. You can read more about Sam's achievement here. We applaud your effort Sam!

6-7) Taylor and Kennedy Everson (9 years old) - Taylor and Kennedy visited Kenya during the summer holidays to help the non-profit organization "Free the Children" build a secondary school. After seeing the devastation in Africa, twin girls Taylor and Kennedy Everson wanted to help change what they saw. Upon their impending 9th birthday, they had an idea they believe would help to make a difference in at least one impoverished neighborhood in Africa. They decided to have a non-traditional party that would help raise funds to send to Africa. With the help of their family and friends, they were able to raise $2,650 for the Free the Children Charity. They are so inspired; they are aiming to start a chapter of Free the Children at their school. Truly, an act of selflessness. You can read more about their great work here. Way to go girls!

8) Aria Novak (10 years old) - Being on the receiving end of bullying and hating it, Aria decided she would not reciprocate the mean acts. Instead, she approached her principal about the idea of creating a day of kindness called simply, "Time For Kind Day" at her school. Her idea was well received by the principal, and the first national "Time For Kind Day" was enacted on April 13, 2011. Aria has now become a student representative on the District's Anti Bullying Committee. She is pledging to have "Time For Kind Day" executed throughout the entire United States school districts. You can read more about Aria here. A little kindness surely goes a long way, Aria. Thanks for taking the time to remind us!

9) Jillian McKigney (17 years old) - When it became time to select a cause in order to earn her Gold Scout Award, Jill chose the parents of cancer patients. Jillian was touched by the sacrifice and effort parents of cancer patients make. They often have to stay at the hospital facility where basic items are sometimes not available, so she set out to collect and donate basic toiletries to them. To help raise the money for the care packages, Jillian hosted a bake sale. She was also assisted by family and friends who donated cheerfully to her cause. Jillian was hoping to assemble 250 kits but has surpassed that number to over 500 kits. According to Jillian, she enjoys being a girl scout because it teaches her leadership and organizational skills. Well done Jillian!

10) Peter Larson (17 years old) - Peter Larson has been touched by the homeless people he sees on the streets of his hometown of Plymouth Minnesota. He has been showing his support and raising money for the homeless since he was six years old. He sleeps in cardboard boxes during the latter part of each year to raise awareness of what the homeless have to endure nightly. He has raised $400,000 for the homeless people of his community over a six year period, and is now looking to raise enough money - approximately $100,000 to house some 50 families for an entire year. Peter is definitely not your ordinary kid; he is a thoughtful, caring, and unique individual who is dedicated to stomping homelessness. To donate to Peter's great cause visit here. You are amazing, Peter! We thank you!

11) McClain Hermes (10 years old) - What started out as a bet by McClain's dad has turned out to be an inspiration to McClain, and a blessing to many at the Atlanta Mission Homeless Shelter. McClain's dad told her one day that if she raises 400 shoes for charity he would in turn shave his head. McClain's dad was in for a rude awakening when his daughter not only met his betted goal but surpassed it immensely. McClain has been so inspired by her efforts; she has since started her own foundation called simply, "Shoes For Souls" in 2009. You can donate and/or follow her progress on her Facebook page here. Very inspiring, McClain! Cheers!

12) Taylor Wilson (14 years old) - Taylor is nothing short of a genius. He has been obsessed with many things in the past but his latest obsession with nuclear paraphanalia has earned him the spot as the youngest fusioneer in history. He has since been taken seriously by The US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Energy who offered their expertise and equipment to further his experiments. Taylor has created and patented a radiation detector, for which he won the first prize of $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against 1,500 competitors. You can read more about his efforts here. You are a genius Taylor, and even more - you are superb!

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you, The Awesome 12.

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