Blake Harris, 14, of Kansas City, Mo., an eighth-grader at Congress Middle School, has made it his mission to perform lots of small but important tasks to make life easier for people in need in his community. Blake says he caught fire with community service while participating in volunteer projects through Cub Scouts, his church, the National Junior Honor Society, and simply by following the example of family members. Still, he thought he could do more. I felt the world lacked spontaneous giving and service, Blake said. I came up with the idea of doing lots of activities for lots of different ages so that it could be ongoing. I cant help everybody, but I can help a lot of people some.
So two years ago, Blake started his project, Pass It On, to perform acts of kindness for people who need a helping hand. He has done errands for the elderly, visited the sick and lonely, mowed lawns for neighbors, worked at a food bank, participated in fundraising walks, read to children with special needs, purchased food to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for a family in need, collated emergency bags for the homeless, and gathered items for Christmas gift baskets. One of his favorite experiences was shoveling a driveway for a woman who otherwise could not have gotten to a dialysis appointment. Blake also spends time every day helping to care for his brother, who has autism. Helping others in lots of small ways every day creates joy, said Blake.