Kaleb Chatelain, 14, of Ammon, Idaho, an eighth-grader at Sandcreek Middle School, collected cash, gifts and supplies last fall for a charity that provides physical therapy to children with disabilities–children like Kaleb’s 3-year-old cousin, who was born with a gene mutation that has made her unable to speak or hold her body upright. “She brings joy to everyone she sees and is so lovable,” said Kaleb. “I wanted to do something for her and people like her.” So Kaleb contacted the Now I Can Foundation in Provo, Utah, to see how he could be of service.
They suggested that he provide gifts for patients’ families, and cited a need for basic materials such as toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies. With the help of some friends, Kaleb distributed flyers around his community to solicit contributions. Two weeks later, he gathered all of the donations. “I was so excited to see an entire room stocked with donated supplies, gifts and cash donations of almost $300,” said Kaleb. He and his family then sorted the goods and loaded them into his parents’ car for the 250-mile trip to Provo. As a result, Christmas gifts brightened the holiday of families with children with disabilities, supplies were replenished at a place to stay for families who travel far from home to get treatment for their children, and money was available to offset the cost of therapy. “The foundation was thrilled with the success of our project,” said Kaleb. “It felt great to help a great organization!”