How many times have you heard a young person say "I'm just a kid. What can I do?" Well, I know that there is a lot kids can do to make a difference and I want to show them how! My name is Patrick Pedraja and I learned firsthand how much power kids have to help others when I created a charity called Driving For Donors. I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 10 and I spent three years in and out of the hospital. I learned how people were dying every day because they couldn't find a matching marrow donor on the National Marrow Registry. There is a critical shortage of donors, especially minority donors, on the national registry and I decided I needed to do something to help. Driving for Donors is a national marrow donor drive and my family and I travel around the country holding marrow drives and educating people about the need for donors.
So far, I've raised $150,000 by selling ads on my bald head, added over 20,000 donors to the registry and educated 100 million people with my media efforts.
I realized that there are so many kids out there who really want to do something to help with a problem in the world, but they don't know how. I created The Planet Us to help inspire kids to make a difference by showing them how other kids are helping and giving them the tools to help as well. Amazing kids, such as 12-year-old Zach Bonner (Little Red Wagon Foundation which helps under privileged youth) or 13-year-old Bilaal Rajan (author of Making Change, Tips From An Underage Overachiever), are doing some extraordinary things to change the world and their stories will be shared here to inspire other kids. It is my dream to highlight the hard work that kids like Zach and Bilaal have done and show other young people that they can make a difference, too. Kids can take action in so many ways for the causes they care about. It can be as simple as picking up trash when they see it, selling lemonade to raise funds for organizations such as the Be The Match program or starting their own charity to help protect animals!
I hope these stories will educate and inspire you. Share them with the young people in your life and help them find a cause that means something to them! Anyone can make a difference and it's up to us to help young people find the passion inside themselves to help others, as well as give them the tools to succeed! So keep reading IMPACT to hear about all these amazing kids and their inspiring stories!
Remember, you are never too young to change the world!