News4 is proud to present its 2014 12 Days of Giving campaign, recognizing 12 charitable teens and kids who have dedicated their time to giving back.
Dec. 22: Ahmed Adam and Operation Homefront
With all the sacrifices military families make, one local teen is making sure the youngest members of those families have all the school supplies they need.
Ahmed Adam is an Eagle Scout with ADAMS Troop 1576, and earned his Eagle Scout badge for his work with Operation Homefront. During the Operation Homefront drive, Ahmed collected backpacks and school supplies.
For more information on Operation Homefront, click here.
Dec. 19: Mari's Miracle Christmas Bags
Thirteen-year-old Marisol Ramirez has spent most of her life in the hospital. After surviving a multiple organ transplant and lymphoma, she's doing well -- and thinking of others.
Marisol wants to make Christmas a little better for kids who are spending the holiday in the hospital. Her goal is to make 140 bags, 70 each for both patients and their parents, and deliver them to Georgetown University Hospital, where she received her own treatments.
Click here to learn how to help Mari's Miracle Christmas Bags.
Dec. 18: Andrés, Lucas and Pablo Orjales and Your Cleats 4 Bare Feets
Andrés, Lucas and Pablo Orjales are working to make sure children in developing countries can enjoy the game of soccer.
Through their organization, Your Cleats 4 Bare Feet, the brothers have collected more than 600 pairs of soccer cleats over the past three years. After receiving donations from children at Arlington Travel Soccer, the brothers clean, pack and send the shoes to children in countries like Botswana, Colombia, Croatia and Zambia.
Lucas and Pablo, both 17, attend Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. Andrés is a freshman at Virginia Tech.
Click here for more information on Your Cleats 4 Bare Feets.
Dec. 17: Emma Hall's Hall-iday
Emma Hall is making sure some families in need get what's on their wish list this holiday season. Hall organized a "Hall-iday" coat drive at Stedwick Elementary School.
With help from her mom, Emma washes the coats and delivers them to the National Center for Children and Families. Now she's working to collect the rest of the items on the center's wish list.
Click here to learn how you can help Emma.
Dec. 16: Matty Pangle and 4 Paws for Ability
Matty Pangle was diagnosed with Autism two days after his second birthday. His mom, Nichole Pangle, says Matty, now 7, is often overwhelmed and has frequent, and sometimes violent, meltdowns.
Nichole says Matty has also learned to unlock the doors of their home and runs away when he's upset. After doing a lot of research, Nichole decided a service dog would be a life-changer for her son.
Matty is now working to raise $14,000 through 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit that provides service dogs for children worldwide. Once Matty reaches his goal, he will be qualified to receive a specially trained autism service dog.
Click here to learn how you can help Matty.
Dec. 15: Ethan Schwartz and the Theatre Lab
When children are taken to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for medical treatment, the Children's Inn in Bethesda provides a place for them and their families to stay as long as they need.
Ethan Schwartz is helping to keep those families entertained during those often-stressful times. One night each month, sick kids and their families can participate in theater games, improvisation, storytelling and more. Ethan worked to raise more than $8,500 for the program, enough to support it for 19 months.
Click here for more information on the Theatre Lab.
Dec. 12: Imogen's Piles of Smiles
Imogen Adams, 8, watched a family friend lose his battle with cancer, and told her mom she wanted to help others. Together, they created Pile of Smiles, and she now collects children's art, sells it and uses the proceeds to help children living with terminal cancer.
Click here for more information on Pile of Smiles.
Dec. 11: Josh's Yolka Project
Josh Kennedy-Noce gives back to the Kirov Baby Home Orphanage, where he spent the first four years of his life before he was adopted.
Josh began raising money in 2010, and has increased the financial goal of the Yolka Project each year. In its first year, the Yolka Project raised enough money to provide the orphanage with new toys and an outdoor playground.
Josh couldn't set a goal this year because of Russia's recent ban on U.S. adoptions, but he's still determined to raise money to help the orphanage.
Click here to learn how to help Josh continue his mission.
Dec. 10: Anne's Sweets for Soldiers
Sweet treats, care packages and letters of thanks and support are headed for troops overseas thanks to a 14-year-old Loudoun County middle school student. Anne Kickert started Sweets for Solders in 2011 as a 5th grader with her extra Halloween candy.
Anne's project has since expanded to several schools.This year, she collected more than 2,000 pounds of candy, hundreds of cards and letters.
Click here for more information on Anne's Sweets for Soldiers.
Dec. 9: Fisayo's Silver Spoon Initiative
Fisayo Quadri is an 18-year-old student at the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College. She used her love for making hair accessories to launch her business, Oh Lou, in November, and her accessory line funds her Silver Spoon Initiative. The silver spoon represents her belief that no one should be deprived of basic necessities.
Fisayo joined Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign after learning that one in five children in America struggle with hunger. For every accessory sold, one non-perishable item is donated to a local food bank in the D.C. metropolitan area. Fisayo is happy that she can do what she loves, while helping the world around her.
Click here for more information on how you can help Fisayo's Silver Spoon Initiative.