July 4, 2018

On today's show we take a look back at some of our previous Kid Heroes.  Later in the show, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with this week's Hero, 13-year old Preston Sharp.

We all know that fireworks are fun and young kids look adorable holding those sparklers. Unfortunately, fireworks can cause serious injuries to children, including devastating burns and other injuries. The best way to keep your children safe is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

More than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room each year in the United States because of fireworks. Sparklers, which are typically viewed by parents as relatively harmless fireworks for children, account for one-third of the injuries to children under five.

Parents don't realize they burn at about 2,000 - 3,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and many children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

Cavan McIntyre-Brewer's Socks for Vets
Cavan McIntyre-Brewer's Socks for Vets

Cavan McIntyre-Brewer is a soldier’s child who delivers warmth and comfort to veterans and wounded warriors.  We heard from Cavan in April of 2017.

The 15-year-old runs Socks for Vets, an organization that gives socks, blankets, rain ponchos, and other comfort items to veterans in nursing homes or who live on the streets.  They serve about 15,000 people a year.

Cavan got the idea for his project in 2009, while his dad, Army Captain Steven Brewer, was deployed.  He missed him a lot and to help fill the void, then-eight-year-old Cavan went to a veterans’ home with his Cub Scout troop to sing Christmas carols.

There, Cavan learned that he wasn’t the only one who felt lonely. A Korean War veteran at the home wanted a checkers partner, so Cavan agreed to come back. During subsequent visits, Cavan noticed that many of the veterans lacked basic comfort items.  He found a lot of them didn’t have socks and stuff.  

Soon, Cavan enlisted churches and civic groups, such as 4-H and the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, to pitch in with supplies and a network of volunteers.  The project expanded to include veterans around the country, including those who don’t live anywhere. 

In 2015, Operation Homefront recognized Cavan for his work, honoring him as the Army Military Child of the Year.  @SocksforVets

Alex's Lemonade Stand
Alex's Lemonade Stand

From the time she was just 4 years old, Alexandra Flynn Scott raised more than a million dollars to battle the cancer that claimed her life at 8.

Alexandra “Alex” Scott was born to Liz and Jay Scott in Manchester, Connecticut on January 18, 1996. Shortly before her first birthday, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer

It all started with one front yard lemonade stand. When she was just four-years-old, Alex held her first childhood cancer fundraiser in her front yard and raised over $2,000. 

While bravely battling her own cancer, Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in their front yard to benefit childhood cancer research. News spread of the remarkable sick child dedicated to helping other sick children. People from all over the world, moved by her story, held their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex and her cause.  By the time of her death in 2004, Alex raised $1 million and inspired a legacy of hope and cures for childhood cancer. 

Today, Alex's family continues what she began... with more than $130 million raised in her name by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. In our Hero of the Week segment, Liz Scott celebrates her daughter's inspirational legacy and tells us how their Scientific Advisory Board helps ALSF find the research projects they fund!

Kids Tales
Kids Tales

Sarah (Katie) Eder, 17, of Shorewood, Wisconsin, was our May 31, 2017 Kid Hero.  Katie, now a senior at Shorewood High School, developed a creative writing workshop for children in need that is now being taught by 120 teens in seven states and five other countries. Three years ago, Katie took a writing workshop that “changed my life,” she said. It occurred to her that many kids, particularly those in underserved communities, have few opportunities to write creatively. “I knew I could either sit back and do nothing, or find a way for more kids to find their voice through writing,” Katie said. So she decided to create “Kids Tales”.  

Kids Tales is a non-profit founded by a kid for kids. It brings writing workshops to kids who don't typically get writing experiences outside of school, boosting reading and writing skills, and promoting creativity. 

During a Kids Tales workshop, kids spend one week brainstorming, writing, and editing their own short story. At the end of the week, the stories are assembled in a collection and self-published as an anthology on Amazon.com. The teachers in Kids Tales workshops are teenagers—one of the main components of Kids Tales workshops is that kids teach kids. 

Katie was recently recognized for her volunteer efforts through the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.  @KidsTalesInc

Cards for Hospitalized Kids
Cards for Hospitalized Kids

Jen Rubino was first on our show back on April 23, 2013. 

Jen, and her own experiences with multiple hospitalizations and surgeries inspired her to found Cards for Hospitalized Kids(CFHK) to spread hope, joy, and magic to hospitalized kids across America through handmade cards sent by kids and groups from around the globe. 

As the founder of CFHK, Jen is able to combine her own experience as a patient and her desire to help others in a way that allows her to help children across America who are facing what she has faced.  Together with help from individuals and groups across the U.S., Cards for Hospitalized Kids is impacting thousands of hospitalized kids.  Lifting others up through CFHK has allowed Jen to lift herself up as well and, chronic illness or not, she knows it will be the same for everyone who gets involved with CFHK.

CFHK continues to grow and the number of cards that they receive grows every year. Anyone can get involved with them, from anywhere. Individuals and groups across the United States, and world, donate time and creativity to make handmade cards and send them to their organization for distribution in hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation. 

Jen is now a junior studying International Affairs at George Washington University (GWU) in DC. @CardsforHospitalizedKids

And this brings us to today's Peace Fund Radio Kid Hero, Preston Sharp...

Preston Sharp
Preston Sharp

On Veterans Day 2015, while visiting the grave of his grandfather at a Redding cemetery, then 10 year old Preston Sharp noticed the lack of flags or flowers on the graves to honor local veterans.  This both troubled and inspired Preston.  He was distressed that our local veterans were going unrecognized on such a momentous day and motivated to do something to change it.  This was the beginning of Veteran Flowers and Flags.

That day, Preston set a goal to place a flag and flower on the graves of each of those veterans at McDonald's cemetery.   Preston made a goal of Honoring every towns veteran's from Redding to Sacramento CA, this goal was accomplished last summer. Preston came up with the Flag and Flower Challenge to get everyone in the US to honor veterans.

As of January 2018, Preston has organized the placement of more than 40,000 flags and red carnations on veterans headstones.  He has accomplished this with the assistance of many in the community who come out to meet him and to clean headstones, replace weathered flags and flowers and say "Thank You" to those that have provided their services to our country. 

Preston has now expanded his goal to honor veterans in every state. He has completed California, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, and Florida.