Great Lakes Credit Union and Little Lake County are proud to bring you “Kirby’s Kids: Little Hands, Big Hearts.” This program recognizes an extraordinary child each month and brings you their stories of determination, hope and goodwill.
Three years ago, when Lia decided to get involved in pageantry, she never imagined it would take her down a path of wanting to do more for others than she ever knew was possible. At only twelve years old, Lia has already completed nearly 100 hours of community service. That accomplishment is not something many other kids her age can say that they have done! Lia began volunteering initially through her pageantry work. Very soon, she was struck by the amazing feeling that helping others gave her, and she began giving more of her time to many different organizations.
These days, she is an extremely busy girl, trying to volunteer once a month or more. Even though she has many different organizations on her volunteer roster, she still is just a normal 12-year -old girl who aspires to be a pediatrician when she grows up, but for now, loves jumping on the trampoline and hanging out with her friends. She strives to find balance with her volunteerism and being a kid, but to her, it is very worth it.
Lia loves competing in pageants, and feels very lucky that the experience has turned into so many amazing opportunities to give back. She truly loves the rewarding feeling, and says that even a little bit can go a long way towards helping others. Lia definitely takes action to back up those very wise words.
Since competing in pageants, and having more opportunities to volunteer, Lia has helped others in a variety of ways. She has sorted and handed out food at local food pantries, and even helped ask for food donations at a nearby farmer’s market. For the last two years, Lia has gone door to door asking for donations for The Ronald McDonald House. Every year they do a Christmas celebration for the families that take part in their program, and Lia was successful in gathering many toy and craft donations for the event. This past year, she also collaborated with other girls in the pageantry program, and put on a huge party for a young girl who was terminally ill. They all worked hard to make the day amazing for her, showering her with gifts, and even crowning her princess for a day.
Lia has also started to volunteer at an adult day care center, helping with art projects. She has put her artistic talents to use before, making creative cards for the elderly and veterans as well. Besides all of that, she has volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, participated in a charity run, and has spent countless hours getting donations for a variety of different shelters and sites that help the needy.
Lia has endured some hardships along the way. She has had to work really hard to overcome nerves, to prepare in advance to compete in the pageants, and has endured teasing for participating in the pageants, despite her hard work and giving spirit. Through it all, she has still managed to turn any negative into positive. She is a bright, young, motivated girl who truly loves helping others. She wants to continue to help as much as she can going forward, and hopes she can encourage and inspire others to do the same. It is not always easy, but she believes that it is certainly rewarding, and can really make a difference in someone’s life who needs it the most.
Lia would like to encourage you to follow in her footsteps and help others as well. A charity that is very near and dear to Lia and her family is the Ronald McDonald House. She encourages you to learn more about them, and donate crafts and toys to them so families can be comfortable while staying with a loved one while they are in the hospital. Lia and her family would also like to mention the Beth Am Food Pantry in Buffalo Grove. This organization accepts food donations, as well as gift cards, and they serve the needy in the area. Both are wonderful charities that help others, and could use as much assistance as possible.
Each and every one of our Kirby’s Kids gets to meet Kirby the Kangaroo at their local Great Lakes Credit Union branch. Kirby met Lia at their local Round Lake branch and opened up a youth savings account in her name with a $50 starting balance, courtesy of Great Lakes Credit Union.
Do you know an inspirational, courageous or exceptional young person living in Lake County, (age 13 or under) who is serving as a role model in his or her community? Help us recognize these big hearts! Nominate a child for the Kirby’s Kid program.
Follow this link to complete a nomination form. If your nominee is selected we will contact you and/or the child’s guardian for inclusion in the Kirby’s Kids program.
For more information about the Kirby’s Kids, read our program introduction.
Disclosure: Great Lakes Credit Union is the paid sponsor of the Kirby’s Kids program.