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03-08-14

Co-Host JT Lewis In 1994 over 1,000,000 Rwandan Tutsi’s were killed by their neighboring Hutus within 100 days. Over 1,000,000 children were orphaned in one of the world’s worst tragedies in history. In December of 2012 JT Lewis lost his little brother, Jesse Lewis in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. Reeling from this personal tragedy he had the opportunity to Skype with orphan genocide survivors who had heard about the shooting and wanted to reach out to JT. During the Skype call they told him that they were so sorry about what had happened to his brother and they shared their personal experiences of heartbreak where they watched many of their family members die. They told JT that through gratitude, forgiveness and compassion they have healed and are now leading lives filled with hope and joy. This started JT on his own healing journey and inspired him to give back to the people from around the globe that had reached out to him in love.

Knowing that these now young adults had no hope of going to college, JT set out to raise money to make their dreams come true. Several months after he began fundraising he was able to Skype back to the same group and announce that he had raised enough money to send one of them to college for a year. He has made the personal commitment to send this person to college for the remaining 3 years and hopes to do more. http://www.newtownhelpsrwanda.org/ Practitioner Beth Davis How It All Started…Under the direction of their teacher, Beth Davis, the Kids 4 Kids Fill-A-Backpack Campaign was a project that was taken on by the students of the Jack D. Gordon Elementary Community School in Miami, Florida in 1996. The goal of the campaign was to fill new backpacks with school supplies for 500 homeless children living in shelters and attending public schools in Miami-Dade County and Broward County Florida, thus making the life of a child in need a little brighter.

Students in the club, as well as other students in the school and community, became so inspired in making a difference for other kids that, at the end of this first annual campaign, 1000 backpacks were collected, filled with school supplies, and delivered to homeless, abused, migrant, and foster children.

The second year, 1500 backpacks were collected; the third year, 3000 backpacks were collected. Over the next 3 years, 4000 backpacks were delivered each year. August 2002, and 2003 they deliver 6,000 backpacks to homeless, abused, migrant, and kids, and hospital homebound kids. They also deliver backpacks to the 1,000 students in Miami-Dade County’s two double “F” schools so that on the first day of school, they will start out with the tools and self-esteem to begin their school year. For the last 17 years Kids 4 Kids has delivered over 75,000 backpacks and over 90,000 new books! http://www.kids4kids.org

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