To promote and encourage random acts of kindness, Leah Nelson, an 11-year-old visionary from Sacramento, created BecuzIcare11 in July of 2016. Leah’s message of kindness is spread through Rainbow Loom bracelets, made of rubber bands, which are given to people to encourage paying kindness forward. Her pay it forward initiative, has gone viral receiving over 100 million views on social media. Leah has fundraised thousands of dollars to “pay it forward” around the globe including adopting a school for disabled kids in Morocco, paying for people’s coffee around Sacramento, and helping flood victims in Baton Rouge. BecuzIcare11 now exists globally with participants throughout the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, the UK, South Africa, the Congo, the Philippines, China and Japan. Leah’s goal is to make random acts of kindness stretch past borders.
Fast-forward a year later and Leah has decided to celebrate a year of her successful “pay it forward” initiative by hosting a surprise party for the 150 women and children at Saint John’s Program for Real Change. Leah and her family raised $1,000 towards this initiative and with the help of SactoMoFo, invited Chandos Tacos, Cowtown Creamery, The Bounce Spot and G-Factor Gaming truck for the eventful night. The playground and garden area were filled with happy kids running and jumping every which way. Above all, Leah enjoyed spending time with the kids of Saint John’s and hearing their stories of struggle and strength.
Leah believes BecuzIcare11 is about kindness and giving back. It was important to her that the kids living at Saint John’s experience a fun day so they know they are not alone and people do value them. Leah’s gift is more than a family-fun party, it’s an opportunity for homeless children to just be kids. While Leah exudes several of our unshakable core values, it’s transparent that she holds “community” in high regard. “Being of service to our community and supporting each to be our best.” Thank you Leah for sharing your kindness and generosity with the women and children of Saint John’s Program for Real Change. Your random act of kindness has undoubtedly encouraged us all to “pay it forward.”
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