The NYMetroParents Caring Kids: Extraordinary Stories of Community Service By NYMetroParents Staff January 30, 2017 Get kid-friendly activities sent to you! Subscribe For the first-ever NYMetroParents Caring Kids Awards, we asked you to tell us how your kids or family serve the community—and we were blown away by the responses we received! There are so many dedicated young volunteers in our region, kids and families who raise money to fight diseases, bring smiles to the faces of seniors or kids with special needs, improve the lives of neglected animals and pets, beautify our parks, and engage in so many other volunteer activities to better our world. Here are the seven entries we chose to receive awards—$500 and a certificate of recognition—with links to see all of the submissions by region. We hope you are as inspired as we are by the example these extraordinary kids are setting. See the award recipients below or read all entries by region: Brooklyn Long Island Manhattan Queens Rockland County Westchester County Comedy Kids Max and Alex Tell Jokes to Raise Money for Cancer Research When Max’s little sister Scarlett was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he and his friend Alex took action on their own. They began telling jokes to classmates in exchange for donations to pediatric brain cancer research. When fellow students began donating bags of allowance money, the moms helped organize and create Comedy Kids. In one short month, these 8-year-olds brought a community together, raised more than $20,000, and plan to expand their efforts. As Caring Kids Award Recipients, Max and Alex will receive a $500 gift card and a certificate of recognition for their community service. See more stories of Westchester's Caring Kids. Ariyana Volunteers at Libraries and the Best Buddies Club My awesome 15-year-old daughter Ariyana gives back to her community by volunteering at two of our local libraries in Rockland County. She helps with preparations and assisting in the children’s programs at least five times a month. She also participates in the Best Buddies Club by hanging out with students in our community with disabilities at her high school and tripled her fundraising goal for the recent Best Buddies walk in NYC. I am extremely proud of her kindness and compassionate heart. As a Caring Kids Award Recipient, Ariyana will receive a $500 gift card and a certificate of recognition for her community service. See more stories of Rockland's Caring Kids. Anna, 12, Collects Toys for Sick Kids—After Beating Leukemia Herself Anna was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and fought an extremely hard battle. She won. Four years ago we walked out of Cohen’s Children’s Hospital ready to celebrate Christmas with her sisters and family. When she asked me if Santa was going to bring her friends toys for the holidays, I said yes. The ride home was hard, knowing her friends were not going home. She wanted to take her money and buy them gifts just in case they didn’t get any. So that is what we did. Later that night, I wrote a status on Facebook letting our community know what we were doing and how proud I was of her. That is what started Anna’s first annual toy drive. She has donated more than 2,000 brand-new toys to the Cohen’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. This year was our fourth year, and with every passing year, it gets larger and larger with the tremendous generosity of so many people. My daughter counts, stacks bags, and loads all the gifts and works really hard. A child who has been through so much and continues to battle side effects from chemo deserves a lot for herself, and she asks for nothing in return. As a Caring Kids Award Recipient, Anna will receive a $500 gift card and a certificate of recognition for her community service. See more stories of Queens's Caring Kids. A Family Spreads Joy Through Mime My children Myah Victoria (age 13), Christopher Ryan (age 10), and Justin Xavier (age 6) all use the creative art of mime to spread joy and smiles year-round at local schools, family and domestic violence shelters, children’s hospitals, community centers, street fairs, Veteran’s hospitals, malls, churches, colleges, police and fire departments, community centers, and more. My children use a creative form of dance, mime, a little American Sign Language, and drama, set to music or spoken word, and perform all around the city. They were invited [to perform] by the chaplain at Queens’s Veteran’s Hospital, and after performing a veteran approached me in tears [and] asked for permission to shake my children’s hands because he was so moved by their talent and willingness to entertain a veteran for the day when they seem to be forgotten. The children performed at a Queens College’s anti-bullying and anti-violence conference sponsored by the Department of Health. During Black History month the children were invited to police headquarters and entertained uniformed officers with a piece they dedicated to brave law enforcement officers. As Caring Kids Award Recipients, Myah Victoria, Christopher Ryan, and Justin Xavier will receive a $500 gift card and certificates of recognition for thier community service. See more stories of Queens's Caring Kids. Taelynn-Marie and Her Family Help the Homeless My 9-year-old daughter Taelynn-Marie has been volunteering with my nonprofit foundation GOTI since she was 6. I founded GOTI three years ago and she has been a vital part of its success and impact on the Brooklyn community since then. Each year we feed Albemarle Family Shelter in Brooklyn Thanksgiving dinner, and we gift all 200 kids Christmas gifts and serve breakfast. Taelynn-Marie has served food, wrapped gifts, decorated trees, and donated time and service to the homeless families year after year without complaint. She even happily traveled to Haiti with me on a mission trip to paint houses and plant trees when she was 7 years old. Taelynn-Marie has served others without expecting anything in return and finds joy in doing so. She is shaping up to be a true servant leader. As a Caring Kids Award Recipient, Taelynn-Marie will receive a $500 gift card and a certificate of recognition for her community service. See more stories of Brooklyn's Caring Kids. Amanda and Ryan, 14, Raise Money for Debbie’s Dream Foundation Twins Amanda and Ryan raised money for Debbie’s Dream Foundation for their mitzvah project. They focused on two fundraisers: The first was an all-day lemonade stand, and for the second one they were involved in the planning of the NYC event Night of Laughter at the Gotham Comedy Club. They have run many successful events for years for Debbie’s Dream Foundation. This charity is near and dear to their hearts because their Aunt Debbie started the charity as she has stomach cancer. As Caring Kids Award Recipients, Amanda and Ryan will receive a $500 gift card and certificates of recognition for their community service. See more stories of Manhattan's Caring Kids. Gabbie and Charlie, 13, Make Improvements to a Group Home The twins’ idea was to create improvements in their Uncle Eric’s group home for the developmentally disabled that would last a lifetime, make a difference, and give them reasons to visit more often. Through this marvelous journey of almost one year, they became friends with staff and got to know more about how and where their Uncle Eric lives. They raised money for a beautiful fish tank and a mural of the Coney Island skyline hand-painted by an artist. As Caring Kids Award Recipients, Gabbie and Charlie will receive a $500 gift card and certificates of recognition for their community service. See more stories of Long Island's Caring Kids. Related: Discover great family activities near you with our weekly newsletter. Find places for kids to volunteer in your community.