PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Carlie Steele, at the age of 9, was watching a telethon for children’s cancer when she said an idea came into her head.
“It sparked an interest,” Carlie, now 13, said. “I thought these kids might want something to play with or something to do when they’re in this rough time.”
The Amity, Oregon native took her idea and headed to social media. Carlie raised $2,000 in toys and games to give to kids going through chemotherapy.
Carlie’s charity didn’t stop there. She created “Carlie’s Kindness Campaign” and the non-profit organization took off.
That Christmas Carlie coordinated efforts to get gifts and card games for troops overseas. This summer, she created a 5K race for Make-A-Wish Oregon. Her kindness, which includes many other actions in the four years since the telethon, has had no limits.
“A couple of years ago I held multiple assemblies at our local middle school and high school to raise awareness and respect for those who have disabilities and ban using the ‘R’ word,” she said.
Carlie’s efforts earned her a trip to Washington D.C. this past May where she was the only middle school student in Oregon to win a Presidential Spirit of Community Award for community service. She also met with Sen. Ron Wyden.
“I got to interact with a lot of kids who are like me,” she said, “which was super cool, who are interested in volunteering and getting their community involved.”
Carlie actually skipped a grade and is now attending Amity High School. Her kindness campaign is now a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Her volunteering plans, she said, have only just begun.
“I want to try and end the negativity in the world and show kids my age that being kind is cool,” she said, “and volunteering is a great thing to do.”