September 2022 - Brantley
Brantley is 6 years old and faces challenges head-on! He loves to volunteer at his aunt and uncle's homestead, where he learns how to cultivate fruits and vegetables and waters, prunes, harvests, and cans them. He also makes delicious meals from the harvests and loves sharing the bounty with members of his community in Watkins Glen, NY.
To help Brantley continue to spread positivity through healthy harvests, we presented him with a check for $100. He also received a $50 gift card for Barnes & Noble and two science experiment kits from Kirby Kangaroo.
May 2022 - Dakota
Dakota is 8 years old, and for the past four years he has been making “Thank You Officer” bags to hand out to local Chemung County police officers. He has given out almost 200 bags, which include treats, hand sanitizer, and protection cards. Not only that, but he also delivers goodies to local fire departments, EMTs, and veterans. Dakota uses his own money for these acts of kindness - holding fundraisers, donating his birthday money, and even using the savings he has from doing his chores!
To thank Dakota for all he does, Visions awarded him with $100, and Kirby Kangaroo chipped in, too, giving him a $50 Barnes & Noble's gift card and two Lego sets!
March 2022 - Quashawn
Quashawn continually goes above and beyond to help people out. Ever since the start of the pandemic, Quashawn has been working to help his fellow classmates stay positive by recording video segments at his school. He also volunteers with SaveeTray, an organization that helps feed the homeless, collects toys to give out to the community, and donates clothing, socks, masks, and cleaning supplies to the Holly Center in Hackensack, NJ.
We met with Quashawn at our Ridgewood, NJ office and presented him with a check for $100 to put towards his community efforts. He also received $50 gift cards for Barnes & Noble and Dick's Sporting Goods from Kirby Kangaroo.
February 2022 - Stella
Stella is Princess of America's Miss New York Ambassador! At just 7 years old, she has a passion for service and has collected donations of clothing, non-perishable food items, money, and art supplies for children in need in the Binghamton, NY area. After struggling with anxiety, Stella found solice through art and became inspired to help other kids deal with mental health issues, working closely with the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. Through this experience, Stella's platform Express Your Color was born. She educates other children about mental health and how to develop healthy coping skills. In July, she'll be headed to Princess of America's national event in Branson, MO to present her community service projects to a panel of judges and a theatre full of people from around the nation!
We were so impressed by Stella's work that Visions donated an assortment of arts and crafts to her cause. Kirby Kangaroo also presented her with a $100 check.
January 2022 - Averie
Averie was planning her first in-person birthday party since the start of the pandemic, and she was turning eight! She decided to ask her friends and family via a Facebook video to bring "gifts to give" instead of traditional birthday presents. The video went viral, and her friends and family would end up collecting $1,000! The donations went to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY.
We wanted to add our own "gift to give" for Averie's birthday, so Visions granted her a $100 check for a shopping spree! The money will help her purchase even more gifts for the hospital, and Averie can't wait to make her delivery. Kirby Kangaroo also gave her a lego set, coloring kit, and $50 Barnes & Noble gift card.
October 2021 - Maeve
In 2020, Maeve finished treatment for leukemia. She was diagnosed when she was 6 years old and, after three years of fighting the illness, Maeve now enjoys her good health with a grateful attitude and generous spirit. She quickly became a Girl Scout to save money and give back, and with the help of her friends and family, she donated 60 boxes of cookies to the doctors, nurses, and staff at her clinic.
Here, our Little Hero is showing off one of her gifts from Visions – a uniquely inspired t-shirt with original artwork by our graphic design team and Maeve’s favorite quote, “The lion and tiger may be more powerful, but the wolf does not perform in the circus.” Supporting her efforts and bravery, Kirby Kangaroo also surprised Maeve with an arctic wolf stuffed animal and a gift card to Barnes & Noble.
September 2021 - Connor
Connor has been helping out the Town of Binghamton Volunteer Fire Department since he could walk! He recently completed the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, where participants climb the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center to pay tribute to the firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11. That’s 343 flights of stairs!
Visions donated gift cards for Wal-Mart and Target to Connor to support his passion of helping our firefighters, and Kirby gave him a fireman utility bag and a stuffed Dalmatian.
August 2021 - Willow
Willow is always raising money for, and donating to, organizations that support animals, and she is currently working to make her Wildlife with Willow initiative into a non-profit. Since Willow was our Little Heroes winner during Youth Month, we decided we wanted to help her make a big impact. In addition to donating cat food and cat litter to her charity of choice, Every Dog’s Dream, we also reached out to our staff and told them Willow’s story. For every donation our employees made to Every Dog’s Dream, Visions matched it, which came to a total of around $603!
But that’s not all! Kirby the Kangaroo also likes to do something special for our Little Heroes winners, and he decided to gift her $100 to help her continue to support the animals that she loves so dearly.
July 2021 - Emil
Emil loves to grow vegetables in his family's garden and sell the fresh produce at his own stand. All of the money earned from his farmer's market is donated each season to a different local charity in Paramus, NJ. This growing season, Emil is using the money from his produce to purchase food and other essential items to donate to the "Table of Plenty," a local program that supports families in need.
To show Emil our support, we donated non-perishables and Ziploc bags to Table of Plenty, and Kirby surprised him with gardening tools and a gardening bag.
June 2021 – Ben
Ben started Nathan’s Butterflies in memory of his little brother. His not-for-profit organization raises money to help others in the community and provides opportunities for children to experience the effects of empathy and kindness. He is pictured with Kirby and one of his board members, Preston.
We were so inspired by Ben's story that we donated $100 to Nathan’s Butterflies. Plus, Kirby Kangaroo gifted him a $25 Dick's Sporting Goods gift card, a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, and a couple Kirby drawstring bags. Keep up the amazing work, Ben!
May 2021 – Callie
In March 2020, Callie (then 10 years old!) wanted to spread kindness and positivity to others during the COVID-19 pandemic. She began decorating sets of 8-10 blank white flags with drawings and inspirational messages to give to frontline and essential workers, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and community volunteers in and around Morristown, New Jersey. Callie's project developed into Flags of Gratitude, a web store for her artwork where she has raised over $5,000 for her favorite charities.
To help Callie continue spreading joy in her community, Visions presented her with a $100 check and a $100 gift card to Michaels to help her purchase more art supplies.
April 2021 – Amelya and Blaine
In Franklin, NY, there was an animal cruelty case involving 20 dogs. They were held in a cold barn in tiny crates stacked on top of each other, and were being used for dogfighting in the city. When Amelya, age 10, heard about this, she wanted to help. She organized a hat day at her school where the students paid $1 to wear a hat for the day. The money collected was donated to 3 local shelters among which the dogs had been divided. She then asked 2 local businesses if they would be willing to match whatever she raised. Overall, she raised over $800 for these shelters.
Fast forward to March, 2021. Blaine, age 7, was not able to have a birthday party with his friends due to COVID. Instead, he asked people to gift him an animal product or food to donate to the local shelters. Ameyla also did the same thing with her March birthday.
In order to help these wonderful kids continue their charitable deeds and gather more donations for their local shelters, Visions gave them each a $50 Petco gift card. Kirby Kangaroo also gifted them a Kirby bag with a dog stuffed animal and some books to read this summer.
March 2021 – Desiree
For the last 5 years or so, Desiree chose to forego birthday gifts for herself and encouraged her friends and family to donate food, supplies, and cash to the local Humane Society. In 2020, even when a birthday party was not possible, she still encouraged donations due to the Humane Society's increased need for supplies during COVID. Desiree partnered with a local ice cream shop to create the Pints for Paws fundraiser, which raised $200 in addition to food and supplies donated by her family that year.
Inspired by her incredible generosity, Visions donated up to $100 of supplies to the Schuyler County Humane Society, including paper towels, milk bones, cat food, dog and cat toys, and kitty litter. PLUS, because she foregoes her birthday presents, Kirby Kangaroo gifted her (2) $50 Barnes & Noble gift cards to thank her for her inspiring acts of service.
February 2021 – Hana
At the start of this year, Hana started making and selling cute and colorful chain mask holders. She then donated half of her proceeds to Dumont Social Services and Food Pantry. To help support her cause, Visions presented her with a $100 check, and two $50 gift cards (one to Michaels and one to Walmart).
January 2021 – Madelyn
Maddie was our very first Little Hero! When libraries and book stores were closed due to the pandemic, Madelyn and a friend started a book drive. The books were collected by community members and distributed to organizations and local businesses for free. They gave away over 800 books of various genres, from sci-fi to cookbooks to adult fiction and more! In recognition of her good deeds, Visions presented her with a $100 check, and a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card to continue to help her with her project.