CHARLOTTE – Maia Campbell sought to help any way she could after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in 2018. But there was one problem: There were no opportunities for kids her age.
Campbell, 13, founded Kidz That Care with her younger siblings in the hope of providing accessible volunteer opportunities for children under the age of 16. This year, Campbell was named a distinguished finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which recognizes student volunteers’ contributions to the community.
Campbell was nominated for the award and she is excited to receive recognition for Kidz That Care.
“I just wanted to help around the world and in the community,” Campbell said. “It feels really good. I’m really happy that my organization is getting noticed, and I’m really happy that people want to help out with it.”
Kidz That Care holds weekend events in which parents and their children can participate in a volunteer project that benefits the community.
One of the events Campbell is most proud of was the Kidz That Care book drive. She said the organization collected more than 600 books from the community to donate. She is also proud to have held an event in which participants made 20 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
The thought of the positive impact she can make inspires her to continue volunteering.
“I love being able to imagine how I’m helping and what big of a difference I can make, especially with people who are in need,” Campbell said. “Some people aren’t as fortunate as others and they may not have enough food or money and it brings a smile to my face when I imagine their faces and how excited they’ll be to receive items that were donated, things that they received and things like that.”
Campbell attends Jay M. Robinson Middle School. During the week, she balances doing her schoolwork and planning her volunteer project, though most of the volunteering occurs on the weekend.
While her three younger siblings help her, Campbell is the leader of Kidz That Care. Their mother helped Campbell create the organization’s Facebook page and transports her children to the volunteering events, but Campbell said she runs the operation.
Moving forward, Campbell hopes to grow Kidz That Care and get more participants involved. She said her school’s newsletter and Facebook page have featured her, which has garnered attention from parents. The organization also has a Facebook page and a website.
“If a lot of people recognize that and they see that I’m making a difference, they would want to participate, too,” she said.