At just 13 years old, Liem Kaplan has already spent six years serving his community in one way or another. So when the novel coronavirus pandemic hit and more people started experiencing homelessness, he was quick to find a way to help!
He went to his mom Nancy and told her that he was worried about those who didn’t have access to masks or hand sanitizer. That concern quickly transformed into a mission that his neighbors have been happy to support.
First, Liem used the power of social media to help him collect masks, and his community did not disappoint him. By July, he had gathered over 5,000 of them!
Then, he realized that many of the organizations providing food to homeless individuals have been shut down, so he started asking volunteers to make PB&Js to hand out free of charge.
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And he didn’t stop there! His group, the Giving Hope Project, also passes out kits with hand sanitizer, lip balm, and other necessities like socks.
When he was asked what drives him to go to such great lengths for strangers in need, Liem simply said, “I want to give back and I enjoy doing this.”
His mom added, “He literally is changing lives, and he’s doing it because it brings him joy and it makes him feel good.”
The Giving Hope Project has gained so much attention that Liem has received support from across the country! While he is in Washington, he’s gotten donations from people all the way in Florida! They have allowed him to continue donating thousands of masks, bagged lunches, and socks.
Even after the pandemic comes to an end, Liem’s work will keep going. After all, he plans to help his community for “probably the rest of my life… because that’s what I like to do.”
Learn more about the Giving Hope Project and how you can support them on their website, and share this story to spread the word.
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