Plans for the HALO Awards are in full swing as the stage is set for the event that recognizes real-life kids who are doing extraordinary things in their communities. And this year’s honorees are really something special:
- Ethan Cruikshank, 16, Mechanicsville, VA–A guitar player since age seven, Ethan was inspired to start Music to My Ears after his school cut music-education funding. Since then, Ethan’s music program has helped over 100 kids across four states by providing free music lessons through volunteer teachers and distributing instruments to those who can’t afford them.
- Riley Gantt, 15, Sherman Oaks, CA–Riley’s organization, Rainbow Pack, was born out of her desire to provide kids with the supplies they need to do their homework and be successful learners, regardless of their economic circumstances. Raising money through fundraising, grants, social media, and school supply-drives, she has successfully donated over 9,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids in the Los Angeles area.
- Joshua Williams, 14, Miami Beach, Fla.–Joshua Williams’ commitment to eradicate hunger started with a roadside donation to a starving man when he was four and a half years old. Through the Joshua’s Heart Foundation, he designed a food distribution system in local churches, schools and community centers, and continues to raise awareness of hunger and poverty at speaking engagements. He has distributed over 1.1 million pounds of food in south Florida, Jamaica and Africa to date, and helped feed over 50,000 people nationwide.
- Ruchita Zaparde, 18, Plainsboro, NJ–After a family trip to India exposed Ruchita Zaparde to the plight of widows, she started Sew A Future to help them achieve financial stability by becoming seamstresses. Zaparde identifies widows in need in India, delivers sewing machines and supplies, and connects the recipients to fundraisers. Over 200 families have risen out of poverty with the gift of a sewing machine, thanks to the fundraising efforts of over 1,400 students in 30 states.
Tune in to the HALO Awards and join us as we celebrate Ethan, Riley, Joshua, and Ruchita and their amazing achievements on Sunday, November 29 at 7 PM (ET/PT).