“Don’t let your age stop you from what you want to do.”
I’ve long been fascinated with Gen Z’s view of the world today. In particular, Gen Z is known to be the do-gooders – kids and teenagers who are compelled to make the world a better place. In fact, they don’t need to ask for permission or to wait for their opportunity because they have the tools, the technology, the network and the perspective to make it happen.
So when I got a chance to meet 10-year old Khloe, I was smitten. At just eight years old, Khloe founded and launched her charity called Khloe Kares. With the help of her grandmother, Khloe fills hand-sewn (and mighty stylish) tote bags with toiletry essentials and delivers her “Kare Bags” to homeless women in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Her vision is to inspire other kids to be great and to make their mark on this earth. And her mission statement is “to make the world a better place by showing ALL of my neighbors that they are loved and cared for, know matter what their situation is.” (Heart-eyes emoji!)
Ketchum invited Khloe to our Los Angeles office this month as part of our 10th Annual KSR Month. Along with our own children, we stuffed nearly 40 Kare Bags with items donated by Ketchum and our sister Omnicom agencies.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Khloe about giving back, her inspiration and, of course, her favorite song.
Q: How did you get started with Khloe Kares? Was there a specific person or situation that helped you realize the needs of the homeless community?
A: Khloe Kares pretty much started by me passing the same homeless lady everyday on the way to school. Her name is Michelle. I’d ask my mom why or how she got there and my mom would tell me. I would feel bad for her and wanted to do something to help.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community?
A: It’s important because we all have to do our part in the community. You don’t have to do something with the homeless community. You can do something like pick up trash on the beach or work with kids. There are many things you can do to give back.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your work?
A: One lady told me that I made her feel human. And that was a valuable lesson because you can tell people, “don’t treat homeless women like they’re not human.”
Q: What has been the best part of Khloe Kares?
A: Getting the hugs and smiles from ladies. And also traveling is nice too. I’ve been able to go to Ghana, New York and San Francisco – and those are only some of the places I’ve gone.
Q: What’s next for Khloe Kares in the coming years?
A: I want to open my community center by the time I’m 15. I want to earn a full ride scholarship to a good college by the time I’m 15. I want to get a second water pump and bathroom facility installed in Ghana. And I will launch my Khloe Kares Workshop. In the workshop, I would teach other kids how to create vision boards and business plans.
Q: What advice would you give to other kids your age who want to start a charity or help other people?
A: Don’t let your age stop you from what you want to do. One time my mom was telling me that adults are more afraid to do things because they think they are too old and stuff. And because kids can have great imaginations, and they do stuff when they want to, they should just do it.
Q: Who is your role model? Who do you look up to?
A: I look up to Malala. She stood up for girls’ rights to go to school and get an education.
Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?
A: I want to become a veterinarian. My favorite animal is a pig. I think they’re so cute.
Q: What’s your favorite song/musician?
A: My favorite musician is Michael Jackson. (P.S. OMG, that’s mine too!) And my favorite song is Beyonce’s “Freedom.” That’s my theme song whenever I have to speak in front of people.
Q: What inspires you?
A: The smiles and the hugs and the people telling me to keep up the good work. That’s what inspires me to keep on going.
Yes, cue the happy tears.
To donate to Khloe Kares or to learn more, please visit her https://www.khloekares.com/.