With all of the violence and bad things happening in the media these days, it is easy to worry about the world our children and future generations are going to grow up in. We are becoming even more fast-paced, cut-throat, and over-stimulated… but there is hope. Instead of watching the news and resigning to the idea that your children may one day be surrounded by a world of violence and hate, take a look at these 5 kids who are doing things to make America better!

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Alexandra Scott
– Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer, as an infant. In 2000 (at 4 years-old) she decided to start a lemonade stand to raise money for kids like her. Her first lemonade stand raised $2,000, which inspired the creation of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, for which she raised over $1 million for cancer research. Alex passed away in 2004, but her legacy continues in the foundation she founded that changes the lives of thousands of kids with cancer. (photo credit here)

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Nik Toocheck –
Running the World for Children: A competitive runner since the age of 5, Nik decided it was time to pay it forward after his 9th birthday. He launched his campaign Running the World for Children, with a goal to run a marathon on every continent (Yes, even frigid Antarctica and sweltering Africa) and raise money for Operation Warm, which donates winter coats to underprivileged kids. (photo credit here)

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Hannah Taylor
– The Ladybug Foundation: When Hannah was just 5 years-old she saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can and decided to do something. With the symbol of the ladybug for luck she set out to raise awareness and help the homeless. Several years later Hannah has raised over half a million dollars and travels across the US and Canada advocating and speaking to groups small and large to make a difference for those who are homeless. (photo credit here)

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Riley Dutcher
: At just 5 years-old Riley found the inspiration to raise over $1,000 for the American Heart Association during her elementary school’s Jump Rope for the Heart campaign. Riley’s aunt was born with a hole in her heart, and when Riley heard about her school’s fundraiser she would stop at nothing to reach her goal in honor of her aunt. With Riley’s help, her elementary school raised over $7,000 for the American Heart Association. (photo credit here)

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Hart Main –
Man-Cans: 13 year-old Hart Main decided to start making candles in scents that men would like (bacon, pizza, campfire, etc.) after his sister did a candle sale for a school fundraiser and he felt like all of the scents were very feminine. The candles are made in old soup cans. Where does the soup go? To food pantries of course! Hart’s business started off serving 7 local food pantries and has grown to 25 food pantries across 4 states. His business has continued to grow and so have his charitable efforts. With the launch of She-Cans, Hart’s business now also contributes to the financial needs of food pantries and MRDD clients. (photo credit here)

Do your kids have any ideas to make America better?