Our Heroes

Isabella Miller

Isabella Miller, an 8th grader at Queen of Angels Catholic School was inspired by her big brother to create, “From Darkness to Life”, an outreach program that takes toiletry bags, snacks and meals to addiction recovery facilities and homeless events all over the state of Georgia. She has worked every month collecting items and delivering to shower trucks in Atlanta and to those needed a “clean” start in life. It was in March 2016 when she started her outreach program after visiting her brother at the sober living facility. We spoke with the director to ask of needs to those that didn’t have families to help with day to day supplies. The most needed items were toiletries and snacks to assist those entering treatment with only the clothes on their backs.  It was there where she asked her mom how she could take a negative and turn it into a positive.   In the month ahead, she met a gentleman that runs a shower truck and is a recovering addict. Since has since  partnered with him to help shower the homeless because in many cases addiction and homelessness go hand in hand.  To date, her organization has  donated over 500+ toiletry bags to those in need.

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Carmen Bodie

In January 2016, Carmen Bodie set up a “Book Boxes” project through the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.  Book boxes were placed around the city, particularly in lower income areas.  The book boxes provide a place for community members to drop off and pick up books of their choice at no cost.  Carmen was responsible for all aspects of the program including city approvals, book box buildout, acquiring donations from local hardware stores.  She also hosted events to collect books for the boxes.  Carmen spent over 60 hours building take one/ Leave one free book libraries in Hampton, GA.

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Jack McConnell

Jack McConnell, an 8th grader at Mt. Pisgah Christian School started his own foundation, 20/20Hearing, whose mission is to help give the gift of hearing to kids that can’t afford the high cost of audiology. A pair of hearing aids costs approx. $4,000-$6,000 a pair and most insurance doesn’t cover it. Jack was born with hearing loss and has worn a hearing aid since he was 6 weeks old. He was blessed with great audiology care through teachers and therapists and he wants to help others receive the same level of care. His foundation helps kids 0-18 in the U.S. and all ages internationally by paying for their hearing devices, ongoing audiology care, and maintenance items like batteries, hearing aid tools, etc. He has fit people on missions as young as 3 years old and as old as 103.

www.2020hearing.org

I used to pray that God would take away my hearing loss but now I know he gave it to me as a gift that I can use to serve others.

– Jack McConell

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Elizabeth Harvey

Elizabeth Harvey is a senior at Westminster school and started a project that addressed the lack of a quality education for students coming from low income families and unstable home environments. She connected with the Children’s Restoration Network (CRN) to fulfill an immediate educational need through outreach. The overall goal of her project was to help the children develop an attitude of excitement and fun while learning. Elizabeth worked directly with the Mary Hall Freedom House shelter, she created two educational summer programs and curriculum, one focusing on the nature surrounding the children on a daily basis (“Trees Around Us”) and the other focusing on health and fitness (“My Healthy Self”). These lesson plans teach kids about subject matters that are relevant in their own lives and that they could approach learning in fun and hands-on ways. She was also able to supply the shelter with supplies needed to continue the projects making it as easy as possible for the lead teacher to continue the projects as new children enter the program. She funded the majority of her project by selling homemade soy candles using thrift store teacups.

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Kathleen Iacobelli

Kathleen Iacobelli, a student at Mabry Middle School was inspired by a family friend to make waiting room bags for the sick kids at St.Jude’s Hospital. St.Jude’s is a hospital that serves children who are very sick. Because of the risk of spreading germs, kids who are patients at St. Jude’s are not allowed to share anything because the germs could spread.

Kathleen’s project, which she led with her Girl Scout troop, involved collecting items that kids would like to play with in the waiting room. Her idea was to provide each child with their own bag so there was no risk of spreading germs. Each bag contains a personal note, a coloring book and a pack of crayons or markers. Kathleen initially set out to make 200 bags, but she ended up surpassing her goal by making over 450 bags for the St. Jude children.

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Rachel Sander

Rachel Sander, a fifth grader at Settles Bridge Elementary in Suwanee, raised money for Share Our Strength’s, No Kid Hungry. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters. Rachel began her fundraising campaign in her neighborhood by going door-to-door in her neighborhood taking orders for baked goods. She started baking cookies and cupcakes and she even opened up a Lemonade Stand in the front of her neighborhood! Rachel and her mom also set up a Silent Auction on Facebook and had companies donate gift cards and products to be auctioned off in addition to cakes, breads and cookies. She raised almost $1,000 and was very excited to take part in feeding hungry kids all over America!

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Caroline Cibulskas

After witnessing the homeless population on a trip to New York City in 2011, Caroline Cibulskas, a freshman at Pope HS in Marietta, GA was moved to make a change. Her parish priest at St. Ann Church in Marietta made request to his congregation asking to donate candles to the homeless of Atlanta. Caroline wanted to do more, so she decided to begin collecting blankets for the homeless in Atlanta and donating them to the My Brother’s Keeper organization which delivers them to the needy. Caroline reaches out to her family, friends, neighbors, and church members to gather what she needs. Over the past 5 years she have collected over 500 blankets handed out to the homeless of Atlanta Georgia.

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Georgia and Julianna Stephens

These Sky Zone Young Hero’s recipients organized their swim team to make 200 lunches for kids this summer for MUST ministries. MUST Ministries is an organization that helps under-priveledged children and families. They have a Summer Lunches program, in partnership with Roswell United Methodist Church,  where they ask volunteers to make lunches for children who do not have a healthy lunch to eat during the summer. They set up volunteers to donate materials, supplemented the items needed that weren’t covered by volunteers, and determined the best way to pack the items. On the day of service, they organized over 30 children and adults to make, pack and deliver lunches. Georgia and Julianna were inspired to coordinate this project after becoming aware that children in their own home town weren’t receiving lunch during the summer. “We knew that we are so lucky that our Mom is home with us and can go to the grocery and get all the food we need and that our refrigerator always as food all summer long. But lots of kids have Moms that work and are not home all day to make sure their kids are fed.”

You can check out their organization, MUST ministries, at www.mustministries.org

Young Hero Georgia and Julianna Stephens
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Elana Spiegel

Elana is in the 12th grade at Saint Francis High School and she loves helping others. Elana is excited to being college in the fall and can’t wait to get involved with organizations that share her enthusiasm for volunteering. Elana currently volunteers at Cardz For A Cause, Inc. where she distributes grocery store gift cards to the homeless shelters. Elana is the co-president of Cardz For A Cause and she plans many fundraising events, including several at Sky Zone! Great job Elana!

You can check out Elana’s organization, Cardz For A Cause, at www.cardzforacause.wix.com/cardzforacause

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Aaliyah Rucker

In 2008, when Aaliyah Rucker realized there were children that went to sleep every night without a blanket to call their own, she wanted to do something about it and had a blanket drive. Since then she has collected and donated blankets to children shelters, NICU facilities, cancer centers, and the homeless. She created an organization called, A Touch of Warmth.  To date, she has collected over 7,000 blankets.

For more information or to help visit, www.atouchofwarmth.org.

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Jaylee Helms

Jaylee Helms is an 8th grader at Mabry Middle School.  For her 13th birthday she invited her friends to help needy children in Roswell! Instead of having a birthday party she invited friends to her church for their Great Day of Service! They filled 40 birthday bags with cake mix, frosting, plates, cups, napkins and candles, and took them to Home Stretch; a local organization that helps needy families.  Those 40 bags were given to families celebrate the birthdays of their children who may not have been able to celebrate otherwise.  These bags made sure the kids had the special birthday that they deserved.

Young Hero-Jaylee Helms