The 2016 Hasbro Community Action Hero Awards recognized ten outstanding youth volunteers that made their mark on their local or global community; serving as proof that anyone can make a difference regardless of their age.
The 2016 Heroes are:
Violet wanted to see kindness ripple so she rallied family and friends to help the homeless population of Spokane. In the past year she's assisted nearly 250 homeless people a week by raising over $4000, distributing thousands of toiletries and snack bags, and serving 900 full meals.
Hailey founded Kid Caregivers, a support group for kids who are assisting their families in caring for a loved one with dementia. Kids as far away as Russia, Germany and Africa participate. Hailey is also the Assistant Director of Puzzles to Remember where she distributes puzzles to seniors with dementia and spends time with them while helping them work on the puzzles.
At age 5, Zoe created her own organization called Zoe's Dolls to inspire and motivate girls of color to love themselves. She promotes positive body image by holding her "Love the Skin I'm In" Creative Expressions Contest, where she encourages girls to submit a poem or video on why they love themselves. Since launching Zoe's Dolls, she has donated more than 2,000 dolls of color to girls in need.
Paloma, who is legally blind, recognized a critical gap in services for visually impaired 6-13 year olds in Florida. She led two rallies at the Capitol, wrote an Op/Ed piece and lobbied the Florida legislature, including Governor Rick Scott. The Florida legislature approved the Children's Program for Florida's blind and visually impaired 6-13 year olds program, providing $1.25 million with $500,000 recurring annually.
At just 8-years-old, Morgan was bullied, suffering in silence and becoming withdrawn and depressed. After deciding she couldn't take it anymore, she took a stand and decided to be part of the solution. Morgan started Guess Anti-Bullying to support other kids going through the same issue, and spent three years lobbying the state of Kentucky to join her. Due to her tireless efforts, Kentucky appointed a statewide taskforce to study the issue of bullying and signed a bill into law that defines bullying in Kentucky and impacts 1,233 public schools and protects some 640,000 students.
Aidan's love of music was what sparked him to realize he can give back. After donating tips he made playing his harmonica to help kids in Africa get much-needed medications, he realized you only need to use what you have to impact change. Now he wants to teach his generation to give through his initiative, Aidan Cares. Speaking to youth from over 30 countries, some as young as 4-years-old, he helps people figure out how they can get involved and follow their passions to give back.
After being diagnosed with a rare degenerative bone disease, Zachary realized playing video games helped distract him from pain. Now he hosts the "Action for Distraction 5K" to raise funds to donate gaming systems to children's hospitals. To date, he's raised more than $75,000 and helped more than 200,000 children in four years find comfort and normality in the hospital.
Leading a community project called Youth Voice Activate in partnership with her church, Angelina recruited more than 30 youth team leaders to focus on outreach to ease the crisis of homelessness in the Bay Area. Working with community partners, Angelina has engaged homeless youth in revitalizing an empty lot and worked with them to create a safe space while recognizing their unique talents and contributions. She also helped collect and distribute more than 150 care packages to homeless families and feed more than 350 homeless individuals.
As a Broadway and big screen actress, Eden is excited to use her increasing fame to help shine a light on civil rights and being a voice for others, especially for the LGBT community and young women of color. Through her Angel in the S.K.Y.E. Network, Eden has spoken out about women's rights, including speaking at the United Nations, and engages her community members to create opportunities to continue to find ways to fight for everyone's basic human rights.
Recognizing that kids with intellectual disabilities are often isolated socially, despite being incredibly smart and talented with much to offer, Josh created GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer), a nonprofit Unified Soccer Program for kids with and without special needs to help build a forum for positive social interaction between the groups. They have impacted more than 400 kids of all abilities, creating inclusive opportunities for all to feel welcome, encouraged and cared about.