That night, after I watched the show, I decided that I needed to help. Online, I found World Vision, a Christian world relief organization. I discovered their orphan sponsorship program—a program where any individual or group can “adopt” or financially sponsor an orphan. Benite, an 8-year-old girl from Mauritania caught my eye. I pulled out birthday and Christmas money I had saved for years, stuffed it an envelope and sent it off. After a few months of sponsoring Benite, I received a letter from her. She shared how she was in school for the first time learning to read, add, and write. With just $360 I changed Benite’s life and she changed mine. The difference I had made in her life inspired me to believe that with a little help from others, I could change so many more lives.
That summer, I underwent two liver transplants. In lieu of gifts and flowers, I asked for donations to my effort. With the help of World Vision I sponsored an entire village in Zambia. By the end of the summer I raised over $15,000. I decided to officially organize my effort, calling it “Kids Caring 4 Kids” and in January of 2005, Kids Caring 4 Kids became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since then, we have helped approximately 6,000 people in Africa and approximately 6,000 kids here, in the U.S., have been involved in Kids Caring 4 Kids to date. Kids Caring 4 Kids has raised over $860,000 and attracted the attention of Oprah and President Clinton.