Teen Inspires Peers to Raise Funds for Local Charitable Organizations
Meet Daily Point of Light Award honoree Michael Kuhn. During the third annual Global Volunteer Month, we celebrate the power of people who tackle society’s greatest challenges, and build stronger, more vibrant communities through volunteerism and everyday actions, like Michael. Read his story, and join the Global Volunteer Month celebration.
Not many 13-year-olds would feel comfortable giving a single media interview, much less having regular media appearances to represent an entire charitable organization — but not many 13-year-olds are as dedicated to service as Michael Kuhn.
For the past three years, Michael has served his Tampa, Florida, community through Kids 4 A Cause, a charitable organization started by his family in 2019. The teen serves as the foundation’s co-CEO, along with his brother, Christian, and cousins, Dominic and Sheldon Fouché. Michael also serves as the organizations spokesperson.
Each month, the foursome chooses a charitable organization to support by donating either a minimum of $1,000 or needed supplies. In three years, they’ve supported over 35 different charitable organizations in the Tampa area as well as in their home country of South Africa. Through their work, they’ve supported people experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, refugees, endangered animals and more.
“It’s been such a great experience, because we really got to connect a lot more,” Michael said. “We’ve also been able to meet a lot of new people and learn about their life stories.”
To raise the funds, the boys and fellow volunteers get together to create homemade items that they then sell, including chocolate bombs, bath bombs and organic homemade soaps. They’ve also fundraised through garage sales, raffles and a Christmas musical production.
As spokesperson, Michael handles the majority of interviews and public relations, a role he took on due to his love of communicating with others. A self-described people person, Michael said he enjoys talking about volunteerism and his passion for Kids 4 A Cause. One of the organization’s goals is to encourage other young people to make a positive impact on their communities.
“We believe kids can make a difference no matter what people tell them they can and can’t do,” Michael said. “Kids can do anything they put their minds to.”
Kids 4 A Cause was born in the wake of Michael’s father’s death in 2017. Blown away by the amount of support they received from their community, Michael and his family decided to give back themselves. Michael’s mother, Natalie Kuhn, said focusing on helping others, even as they were experiencing their own trauma, helped the boys to overcome a lot of sadness and give them a brighter focus in their lives.
This month, Michael and his family are making and selling prayer bracelets to support children in foster care. They are also continuing to fundraise for March’s project, which was to aid Ukrainian refugees. So far, they have managed to raise over $5,000 for refugees through selling the bracelets and are still taking orders.
A favorite project for Michael, who is very passionate about animals, has been aiding the Humane Society of Pinellas. When he was in elementary school, he rallied his class to help raise funds and donate two carloads full of supplies to the animal shelter. They were then able to go visit the animals they were helping.
Natalie said Michael has continued to spread an interest in service to his peers in middle school as well, many of whom are consistently asking to help out or have started their own volunteer projects.
“I think his legacy has been that he’s been able to inspire other children to not only think about their world, but the world around them, and open their eyes to how they can make a difference,” Natalie said.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Michael? Find local volunteer opportunities.