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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Doing Good at Age Nine

Last summer, I attended a two-day produce conference in Chicago, which I do quite a bit, so I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary to happen.

But then I met Katie.

Katie is a 14-year-old entrepreneur from South Carolina. In 2008, Katie planted some cabbage seeds as part of a school gardening project. She did such a good job of nurturing her cabbage that it ballooned to 40 pounds!

When her class project ended, she donated the cabbage to a local soup kitchen. Those 40 pounds of cabbage ended up feeding 275 people! Katie was so touched by feeding the hungry, she decided to start more gardens and donate the food she grew to feed more people in need. She now inspires other students to do the same. You can read more about Katie’s Krops here.

Katie now grants scholarships to other students around the country to help them start gardens, buy seeds and feed the hungry. She has developed an amazing program. Amazing not only because of the scope of her reach, but because Katie is only 14!

When you did a class project when you were 9, did you ever conceive of doing something that would truly change the world?

Did you ever dream that when you were 14, you would be accepting an award from President Bill Clinton at his Clinton Global Citizens Awards™   ceremony, sharing the podium with the richest man in the world and two freedom fighters from Uganda?

That’s exactly what Katie experienced last September. When my friend Don sent me the announcement of Katie’s award from President Clinton, I was beyond inspired. I thought back to being introduced to her a month earlier and how poised, yet humble, she was, up on the stage, presenting to about 200 produce people.

Her passion for feeding the hungry really did touch me. I thought to myself, if a 14-year-old student could be so passionate and committed to helping others, I could do the same. I could inspire others too.

So, last month, I chose to donate to my local food bank in lieu of giving holiday gifts to family and friends.

When you read Katie’s story, I think you will be inspired. Read here to learn how you can support Katie and her work.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Karen

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