A 12-Year-Old Girl Leads Her Own Charity After Being Told She Was Too Young to Volunteer
When it comes to doing something good for others and assisting those who are less fortunate, there is no such thing as age. Amelia was fully aware of this when, in defiance of people’s misconceptions that she was too young to volunteer, she decided to start doing it anyway. Nowadays, she runs her own nonprofit and offers help to many kids her age, aiming to bring a little light into their lives.
When we’re young, we all look to our parents as role models and sources of inspiration. Amelia Lisowe was reared by her mother in Arkansas and learned from an early age how to lend a helping hand and serve others.
Lauren, Amelia’s mom, has been involved in volunteer organizations for many years and encouraged her daughter’s decision to make a difference in the foster community.
Ever since she was a little girl, her mother Lauren has tried to instill the fundamental values of life into her daughter, bringing her up with the motto, “Find something you’re good at and use it to make the world a better place.”
Amelia remembers how she first became interested in her mother’s volunteer activities. “I got to go along with her to a lot of events when I was younger,” she recalled. “Finding a way to help foster kids was easy for me to do when I saw there was a need in my community.”
Amelia’s enthusiasm for her mom’s volunteer work grew beyond mere interest, so she realized she was willing to work harder to make a difference and do so independently. Therefore, at 8, she started looking for volunteer opportunities.
Unfortunately, things did not go smoothly initially, and little Amelia was repeatedly turned away or refused. All of this was due to her age, as she was deemed too young to be engaged in such activities. “I felt kind of defeated because I love to volunteer,” she shared.
Yet, success often comes after adversity, and through all of those rejections, Amelia learned to rely on her strengths and abilities and pave the way for what she later achieved. When her mother told her that foster children occasionally had to leave their homes overnight, she had a brilliant idea.
Amelia envisioned what it would be like to be a young child living on the streets and about how she would feel scared of the dark. “I couldn’t imagine being in a new home and being in that darkness,” Amelia claimed.
She then talked to a school counselor about her plan to gather night lights for foster kids. Then her school organized a push to collect $1 donations, and as a result, Lisowe’s Lights, her and her mother’s charity, was founded.
She keeps on growing and inspires more kids like her to volunteer.
Amelia’s non-profit was founded in 2018 and has grown steadily since then. Presently, she has spread to all 50 states and generated funding to deliver 15,000 nightlights. “Kids in foster homes sometimes have to leave in the middle of the night without taking anything with them,” she said. “I wanted to help them feel less scared and more safe.”
Everyone around her is tremendously proud and interested in her work, and her mother has been one of her staunchest supporters since the beginning. “I’m so proud of her,” she said. Yet, despite being the charity’s president, Lauren states that Amelia “is involved in every decision we make, every time we spend money, helping decide if something is a good idea or will further our cause.”
“As adults, we don’t always think about things like that. We don’t think about being afraid of the dark when you stay somewhere new,” Lauren said. “For her to have that idea and have the initiative to follow through with it and to be able to make that impact, it’s been a really neat experience.”
Lisowe’s Light recently launched a program encouraging young people to become active in the foster care system while earning volunteer hours. “Finding out that I could help foster kids and make my own place to volunteer instead of having to go somewhere was really helpful because I could encourage other kids that they’re never too young to make a difference,” Amelia stated.