He forgets to brush his teeth, leaves a trail behind when he leaves a room and takes short cuts in doing anything that he thinks is not worthy of his time. However, when he was 10-years old, Tyler Page began an 18-month campaign to raise $50,000 which he actually pulled off! It all started because of an Oprah show on child slavery in Ghana. Tyler, his mom, and the entire family had no idea the show would change their life forever.
Tyler turned to his mom the day they watched the Oprah show and asked her if he could “do a fundraiser” in order to raise $240 which he had learned would keep one child out of fishing slavery for an entire year. His mom jokingly replied to him saying, "Sure, what would you do and how would you do it?” Thinking to herself that this idea wouldn't amount to anything because her son was just a little ten year old, the show ended and she erased the conversation from her mind.
A little while later Tyler showed her a picture of a car wash with a letter attached explaining what he wanted to do and why. Telling him it was a sweet and thoughtful idea, his mom again didn't think much of it. The next day he came home from school very excited. He said he had shared the idea and letter with his class and they loved it and wanted to help. To his mom's astonishment, the teacher sent Tyler to the principal with the idea and three weeks later they had their first car wash raising nearly $1,200! Filled with amazing joy and hope Tyler decided he couldn’t stop and set a $50,000 goal.
After reaching his $50,000 goal in 18 months, his mom took serious notice. She suggested that they start a leadership academy teaching children how to give back and make an impact in their own lives, homes and communities. She thought he would stop raising money for Africa since he'd raised so much already and asked him if it would be okay to start the leadership academy now that he had reached his $50,000 goal. His reply was, “Well, okay, but I’ve set a new goal of $100,000.” To the shock of all those around him this kid, who forgets to brush his teeth, reached his $100,000 goal 18 months later. Now he’s gotten smart and realizes that every time he sets a goal he reaches it, so he has set his next goal a little higher at $500,000.
Tyler did start the leadership academy. It's called Kids Helping Kids. The academy gets to know each child enrolled and find out what they are passionate about. Then they help them find resources in order to grow, learn and be active in the areas they are interested in. The topics they discuss are additional tools to help them discover themselves and what those passions are in different ways so they can develop and incorporate them in their everyday lives through moral leadership.
While Tyler says he's a regular kid, his mom says he's also extremely diplomatic and well liked by his classmates--kind of an old soul trapped in a kids body. His creativity and visionary thinking has led his whole family into becoming more compassionate. They've made Tyler's project a team effort and doing so has brought them many wonderful experiences as well as the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people.
Laura, Tyler's mom, says it's fun to sit and wonder what her son will become in his adult years. She's very grateful for the experience. It is teaching her how to raise her own bar and inspiring her to think outside the box and to believe anything is truly possible. "If a 10-year old can do it," Laura says, "I can certainly give it a try."
And so can you! What projects have you or your children wanted to do that you've previously felt incapable of accomplishing?
This story and the photos were contributed by Laura Page and edited by Kama. Thank you so much, Laura!