All across America, there are young people making big differences in their communities, proving that you don’t have to be grown-up to step up. Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins said its new “Pint-Sized Heroes” charitable program celebrates the extraordinary, passionate, creative and thoughtful young people who are giving back to their communities during the pandemic.
Canton, Mass.-based Baskin-Robbins said is committed to shining a bright light on the incredible acts of kindness of “Pint-Sized Heroes” nationwide in hopes that their stories inspire others to do the same. The Baskin-Robbins Joy in Childhood Foundation is making a $5,000 donation in each hero’s name to a charity of his or her choice. The brand also is treating the heroes to a year of free ice cream as a sweet “thank you.”
Baskin-Robbins said the first “Pint-Sized Heroes” include four elementary and middle school students who are helping those in need during COVID-19 and beyond:
- Liv Khoury of Berkley, Mich.: This fourth-grade student has taken her love for art and photography and turned it into a way to help those who need it most. Inspired by her daily family walks and recognizing how many people long to be outside, she began photographing nature and hosting virtual art shows, selling her prints to raise money for charity. Khoury’s fans — located all over the world, from her neighborhood in Michigan to France — have helped her raise over $2,000 in donations for local food banks and nonprofits.
- Joshua Runde of Pompano Beach, Fla.: This year, Runde should have been competing in the 2020 VEX Robotics World Championship; instead, the seventh grader is using his engineering talents to give back. With the help of his robotics coach and the money from his own piggybank, he has created 3D-printed face shields and donated hundreds of them to frontline workers from his hometown to the Florida Keys.
- Jahkil Jackson of Chicago: Now in the seventh grade, Jackson been giving back to his community since he was eight years old and has already founded his own nonprofit. As the creator of “Project I AM,” he distributes “Blessing Bags” of essential toiletries to the homeless and senior centers in his neighborhood. Despite having asthma, the Chicago native has safely doubled down on his cause during COVID-19 and enlisted his family to help him deliver “Blessing Bags.”
- Brayden Pape of San Diego: When this eighth grader realized some of his classmates would miss meals because of school closures, he started collecting thousands of dollars in gift cards and donated groceries to supplement the meals his school has already started distributing to the community. After weeks of reaching out to as many local businesses as he could, Pape has collected more than $5,000 worth of food and gift card donations to help support local San Diego community children.
“We’re happy to recognize these young philanthropists and their entrepreneurial spirit,” said Shannon Blakely, vice president of marketing at Baskin-Robbins. “Liv, Joshua, Jahkil and Brayden have been using their incredible talents to creatively and selflessly give back to those in need. Acknowledging these Pint-Sized Heroes is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to these amazing kids, inspiring us all to step up in our communities whether our contribution is big, small, or pint-sized.”
For more information on the Pint-Sized Heroes initiative and to recognize a pint-sized hero in your community, visit www.pintsizedheroes.com. You may also support the program by donating to the Pint-Sized Heroes Fund at www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/baskin-robbins-pint-sized-heroes. Follow the heroes’ journeys on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BaskinRobbins), Twitter (www.twitter.com/BaskinRobbins) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/BaskinRobbins).