Kidz That Care has adopted several streets in the Ballantyne and South Charlotte areas as part of the Keep Charlotte Beautiful's Adopt a City Street Program. They also have led over 30 cleanup events in their assigned streets and at local greenways.

Kidz That Care

Nonprofit helps youth participate in service projects

By Vanessa Infanzon | Photos courtesy of Kids That Care

Several years ago, Maia Campbell, now 15, and her three younger siblings observed their mother volunteering in the community. They became interested in helping too. Yet, they quickly realized service opportunities for kids are limited, usually because of minimum age requirements.

“When we looked for volunteer work, they usually had an age (restriction) of 16 and above,” Campbell says.

This roadblock didn’t stop the Campbells: In 2018, the family founded Kidz That Care, a nonprofit with the mission to expand youth opportunities. It “organizes and leads fun, safe, free, age-appropriate volunteer events and service projects that empower kids and teens to give back to their communities, advocate for causes they care about and become student leaders.”

Maia Campbell, a sophomore at Providence High School, believes beginning community service as children will change how we interact with one another as adults.

Since the inception of Kidz That Care, 400 young people ages 5 to 18, have helped complete more than 200 service projects. The nonprofit partners with local organizations supporting various causes, including childhood literacy and hunger, homelessness, elder care, newborn and maternal care, and youth with disabilities.

Last summer, Kidz That Care refreshed an outdoor area of Hospitality House, a nonprofit offering overnight accommodations for patients and their families receiving medical treatment in the Charlotte area. The City of Charlotte’s Keep Charlotte Beautiful program provided financial assistance. Volunteers fixed a pathway and added benches, birdhouses and plants to a side of the house used by guests.

Kidz That Care also provides Hospitality House with baked goods during the holidays and pantry donations and supplies throughout the year. “We’re grateful for everything they do,” says Kristen Cresante, community engagement manager at Hospitality House. “They never let us down. They’re always reaching out to see how else they can help.”

Spreading Kindness

Campbell and her mom apply for grants to help offset costs for volunteer activities. One nonprofit, Charlotte Is Creative, awarded Kidz That Care its HUG micro-grant, $250 in funding for creative endeavors. Kidz That Care volunteers used the money to paint more than 25 canvases at Makerspace Charlotte and deliver them to Levine Children’s Hospital in the fall.

“Investing a $250 HUG micro-grant was a very easy decision,” says Tim Miner, creative troublemaker at Charlotte Is Creative. “Their proposal to purchase art supplies so their young volunteers from Kidz That Care could create works of art to be shared with children in pediatric hospitals spoke to us immediately.”