Written by Victoria Feng, AKOM Writer and Money Smarts Editor
Jessica Carscadden, 14-year-old Founder of the We Care Bears Project
Quote of the Month
“A little thing can make a big difference in someone’s day- you never know what a difference that can make.”
-Jessica Carscadden, 14-year-old Founder of The We Care Bears Project
November Amazing Kid! of the Month
In November, we should not only thank and celebrate the joys in our lives, but aim to create ones for others too. With Thanksgiving in full swing, we should think of ways that we can show others our thankfulness. Showing gratitude to someone not only shows manners, but makes the person feel appreciated. If we all told someone “thank you”, it would brighten our day up, for both us and the person being thanked. It could be a simple, like someone holding the door for you or smiling. But these unexpected acts of kindness can brighten up our days a lot. Think about what makes you happy, and do the same for others. To quote the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Jessica started the We Care Bears Project as a way to bring comfort to other kids’ lives. After being abandoned at birth, Jessica was adopted when she was 5. She’s also had 7 major surgeries on her face, and can relate to pain other children face.
Keep reading to learn more about Jessica and The We Care Bears Project!
It Starts with One
When Jessica was cleaning one day, she saw her stuffed animals lying in her closet.
During some of the hard times Jessica faced, her stuffed animals were always there, helping her survive the hardship she faced. She says, “She wondered if other kids too could benefit from them, especially in difficult times.”
Back then, Jessica lived across the street from a fire station. She decided to donate her stuffed animals to the station so firefighters could give the toys to children in need, helping ease pain. Jessica also knew that the police station needed stuffed animals too, and decided to figure out a way to make her project bigger. All of her animals were already donated to the fire station, so she went to her school principal, Dr. Newman.
With Dr. Newman and the Monterey Ridge Elementary School’s student council’s help, Jessica was able to organize a school event. She wanted to fill the fire and police vehicles with stuffed animals. Her idea was met with enthusiasm and Jessica reached her goal. Jessica saw how the animals donated had helped children locally and she hoped that it could one day reach the lives of others in the U.S.
Another one of her dreams was that every child could receive a stuffed animal to help them through difficult times.
Touching Others Lives
Today, the We Care Bears Project has donated more than 35,000 stuffed animals. Jessica donates these toys to charitable organizations across America.
Still, the We Care Bears Project faces challenges, like money, especially since it is growing bigger and donating more stuffed animals to kids. Not only do buying bears cost money, but bags to deliver the bears in and tags, particularly in large donations, add to the cost. Jessica uses all of her allowance and prize money she sometimes gets from awards towards her project. Other times, people and organizations alike help her out. By going to her website, you can help support the We Care Bears Project.
Jessica says one of the best parts of this project for her is being able to hear how much her work has impacted kids and their parents. She also enjoys meeting other people who have done projects that benefit others like in the Peace First Community.
She says that every kid can make a difference – no matter how big or small. This November, think about how you can bring happiness in other’s lives.