For several years 15-year-old Sophia Greenwalt from Missouri has been raising money for people in need every month, by getting people to pay a dollar to wear a hat to school, one day out of the month. She calls it “Helping Hats.” With a little help from local businesses that often match these donations, Sophia has helped give people in need a Thanksgiving dinner, help pay medical bills, support disaster survivors, and so on… and so on… and so on… She is a tireless and impressive young philanthropist.
In the last year, she hasn’t slowed down in “trying to make the world a better place.” What is even more extraordinary about that? She’s been battling cancer and undergoing chemo while she continues to help heal the world. Last week, while undergoing her last chemo treatment, she funded a Thanksgiving dinner for people in need. Last year, she did the same with her personal winnings from a local Volunteer of the Year award.
Sophia asked to raise funds for Red Cross on #GivingTuesday, so our celebrity volunteers decided to get involved by surprising her with a “Helping Hats” moment of a lifetime. When Sophia awoke today, she thought she was going to learn how to use social media and the web to raise more money for “Helping Hats.”
What she discovered, instead, is that her supporters extended far beyond her small town in Missouri. Some of Sophia’s favorite stars like Emily Kinney and Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead and the cast of The Today Show sent her video messages or Skyped in to talk with her.
Reba McEntire and Amy Grant made generous personal gifts.
Many other celebrities, including IM5, Alyssa Milano, Chad Warrix, and Nancy O’Dell posted, tweeted, or payed a buck and posted a hat picture from their social media accounts. Fans decided to #GiveWithMeaning and celebrate her.
#GivingTuesday is about giving — bold, open-hearted, unfettered, full-spirited generosity. Sophia exudes this and got an experience worthy of her goodwill.
Sophia, already today, you’ve raised more than $20,000. You are an inspiration to us all, and we are most grateful for you and what you’ve done to help Red Cross save lives and alleviate suffering.