On the surface, Chloe Collins is your average pre-teenager. During the day she’s a fifth grader at Sycamore Rocks Elementary School in Apple Valley, California and at night she juggles drama club and hanging out with friends and family. When she gets older, she dreams of being a hair stylist. After college, of course. But Chloe is more than meets the eye. At the tender age of 12, Chloe Collins is a full-blown humanitarian.
It started with a simple photograph she saw on the news one night. A little girl, younger than Chloe, writing a letter to her mom. But this little girl was in Japan and the 2011 earthquake had just struck; she was trying to find her mother. That image was ingrained in Collins’ mind.
“I felt so bad for everything that happened.” Collins said. “I live a really good life and knowing that people don’t get to live like this, I felt I needed to give what I have to people that don’t.”
So she took a fun hobby her cousin had taught her—making duct tape bows—and turned it into a fundraiser for the American Red Cross. On a whim she created a Facebook page and started selling her colorful creations, for prices ranging from $.50 for a small bow to $1.00 for a large one.
“Her first goal was just to earn a $100,” said Nicole Collins, Chloe’s mother and a teacher at Chloe’s school. “It was literally quarter by quarter. Then the money started flooding in. She was getting orders from strangers around the world. It became larger than we ever thought it would be.”
When she reached $1,000, she wrote a check for the Red Cross, designated for their disaster efforts both in Japan and worldwide. In return, the Inland Empire Chapter in San Bernardino presented Chloe Collins with a certificate during a special program at her school.
"Chloe's commitment to reach her $1,000 goal by selling one bow at a time to help those impacted by this horrific disaster is matched by very few her age,” said Yevette Ramos, CEO of the Inland Empire Chapter. “She is a great example of the innovation and dedication of our future Red Cross supporters."Ms. Mieko Kudo, Vice Principal of the Ishinomaki Red Cross Nursing College, stands amid the mud and remains of the college. Chloe Collins received a certificate of appreciation for her donation from Robert Bahler of the local American Red Cross chapter at a special school ceremony.
Since her initial donation, Collins continues to make and sell her wares and has inspired several of her friends to do the same. She’s turning her efforts now towards Africa and the work Red Cross does there.
“I want to continue to help others,” she commented. “It is so important to get involved.”Japan Earthquake and Tsunami One Year Update and Slide Show Japan Earthquake and Tsunami One Year Update