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If An 8-Year-Old Can Raise $1,000, What About You? 4

Charitable organizations have been hurting for the past few years ever since the economy tanked.  People have less to give and quite honestly, I think we’re just a little hesitant to part with our money in case the economy doesn’t recover anytime soon.  It makes it hard for some groups to achieve their missions.

Then, I run across the story of Johnny Karlinchak, an 8-year-old kid in Springfield, VA who saw a need in his neighborhood and set out to address it.  You can read the entire story here:  Johnny Karlinchak

A few weeks ago, a wicked storm called a derecho swept through our area and created a mess of downed trees and power lines.  During the storm, a 60-foot tree fell on Johnny’s neighbor’s house.  He wanted to help her with the cost of removal and repair but he only had $1.25 in his piggy bank.  So, he set up a lemonade stand with a sign that said, “Mrs. Myers Building Fund” and a few days later, he had raised $1,000.

Even in a down economy, people are still moved by passion and genuine efforts to help others.  Johnny had both.

Makes me wonder what any of us could accomplish with these same qualities.


  • Ron – You have those qualities. I saw you speak yesterday. Your passion and genuine effort to help those of us in your audience were boundless. And you are so funny! Thank you

  • Ron, read your article. I am a social worker and a Rotarian, I thought you might enjoy this….The Maywood Rotary Kenya Project Story:
    “Corey and The Water Bottle”

    Seven years ago, a little 8 year old African American boy named Corey, from Maywood, New Jersey went to visit the Maasai Mara in Kenya with his family. He visited Empopongi Primary School where a little girl, leaning up against a mud hut, reached up for his half finished bottle of water. He gave it to her and walked away raging in anger. I asked him what was wrong. He looked up to me and said, “Dad, these children look just like me, but they don’t have any clean water, food to eat, or clothes to go to school in. That’s not fair. And it makes me mad. We have to do something about this.” I told my son that I didn’t think it was possible to help all these children on the other side of the world. But thank God, he didn’t listen to me. He went home and raised $1,495.00 from his school and told me to get Rotary to buy food for these children. I couldn’t say no. Maywood Rotary agreed that this was an important project they could sponsor. That was the start of Maywood Rotary Kenya Project.
    Corey, who has been given the Maasai tribal name Serooni (he who helps in time of trouble), has been back to the Maasai Mara every year, with trip volunteers to help the Maasai children. His idea built an entire school and took in over $300,000. in donations over eight years. I know that with your help and partnership, Corey’s dream of helping can continue to help even more Kenyan children.
    All of us would like to thank every single donor, all of the 63 trip volunteers, and the Maywood Rotary Club for all their support. I thank you for visiting our website.
    Kevin Williams, Director

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