Young Heroes Make a Difference
These kids saw a need – and stepped up to help – during the coronavirus pandemic.
Noah, 5, and Treandos Thornton, 8
Their fundraising efforts have raised thousands of dollars to benefit the homeless through the Atlanta Mission.
Noah and Treandos knew they had to help during the COVID-19 crisis and decided to raise money for homeless people. They’ve donated thousands of dollars to the Atlanta Mission, which serves the homeless in Atlanta. The brothers are no strangers to helping others – they founded T&N Bow Ties, an apparel company that encourages kids and adults across all communities to dress for success, gain life skills and build confidence.
What inspired you to raise money for the Atlanta Mission?
Helping others during COVID-19 was an easy decision for us. We wanted to help homeless people because they already have it tough and knew COVID-19 would make it even worse for them. My brother and I decided to raise money so the Atlanta Mission could provide important items. We can’t just sit by.
What have you learned since starting your fundraising effort?
We have a duty to help one another. COVID-19 has reminded all of us to help. We must make this world a better place.
Israel Smith, 12
Designed a coronavirus video game for kids.
The Norcross 6th grader, who had been studying game design at school, saw an opportunity to channel the stress of coronavirus into an arcade-style game. His Space Impact game is designed to help reduce the anxiety kids may be feeling during about the virus.
What inspired you to create the Space Impact Game?
I was working on a different project using the program Scratch from mouse.org. When the virus hit and school was shut down, I decided to remix a game to fit COVID-19 because it is affecting the whole world right now.
What were some of the challenges of creating the game?
Even though we had coding classes, I like to figure things out on my own. Scratch was easier than some of the other coding programs, but I still needed help. I had to delete the game and start over a few times.
What did you learn from the experience?
What I learned was not to give up, you may not get it on your first try, but don’t give up. I also learned that it is OK to ask for help. I don’t like to ask for help! It’s nice to know that the game is getting attention. We are all a little scared of the virus. This game just lets you put the scary part out of your mind and help you focus on being a kid.
Grey Cohen, 16
Founded The Meal Bridge, which provides meals to Atlanta-area healthcare workers. Donors sign up to provide meals to area hospitals; the meals are delivered by local restaurants.
The Meal Bridge was inspired by Grey’s uncle’s idea to send meals to healthcare
workers at a local hospital. She knew there was a way to turn it into a wider-reaching program. Since March 23, about 38,000 meals have been delivered to 26 Atlanta-area hospitals.
What were some of the biggest challenges with starting The Meal Bridge?
The logistics of coordinating the hospitals and corresponding restaurants has been the most difficult obstacle. We had to be flexible at the beginning with delivery orders and work out the best way for them to run smoothly.
What have you learned during the experience, and how has it changed the way you see the world?
I’ve had to quickly develop communication skills – I’ve gotten pretty good at emailing with adults. I’ve also been learning to manage something bigger than myself. Managing The Meal Bridge along with my school work was tough but I think it has prepared me for the future.
How has founding The Meal Bridge changed the way you see the world?
It was an opportunity to develop a better perspective toward what’s important in life.