Reina P. Cunningham
After keeping it a secret for two weeks, Libby Edwardson and Cindy Wyatt were finally able to tell kids the big news they were hoping and waiting to hear.
As co-founders of 52 Weeks of Giving, Edwardson and Wyatt told the kids, who have been trying for three years to change the world, they won the “Disney Time Hometown Celebration” contest.
Disney and Good Morning America (GMA) selected the winners.
Now, the kids get to celebrate this Friday with a Disney-themed party at the Middlesboro community center. The party starts is by invitation only.
Details are limited, but the party promises to be a fun filled day full of surprises for the kids.
Both Edwardson and Wyatt are thrilled for the children.
“When we started 52 Weeks of Giving nearly three years ago, we naively thought we would be changing the lives of the children that came to this program by opening their eyes to the world,” explained the co-founders. “What we have found instead is that they have changed our lives.”
When the kids were asked what they would tell other kids thinking of joining 52 Weeks of Giving, their answers showed maturity beyond their ages.
“I would tell them to come because it makes you feel good about yourself to do things for other people,” said sixth-grader Hattie Fitzpatrick.
The 52 Weeks of Giving “makes you think about stuff you usually wouldn’t think about that is actually happening in the world,” said freshman Tori Lowrance.
When asked what the organization has taught them, the kids reflect on how they are making a difference together.
“(It) has taught me that everything matters - the little things and the big things,” said sixth-grader Leslie Wilson.
Participating “has taught me about accepting people for who they are and that helping people is one of the most important things to do because they may not have enough, but they are still good people,” said seventh-grader Megan Wilson.
“(It) has taught me you may just be one person, but you can have a big effect,” said freshman Katlyn Barnwell.
As the co-founders point out, at a time when all you hear in the news is negativity, it is refreshing to see this group of kids trying so hard to do good.
“When we look at these kids we don’t worry at all about the future of our country or the world,” said one of the co-founders. “They are kids who are changing the world one kind deed at a time and we could not be prouder. They have earned this honor with their quiet dedication to bettering the world and by embodying our motto - Don’t Let Anyone Be Nicer Than You”.
The Disney party will air on GMA sometime during the 8 o’clock hour on Friday.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, firstname.lastname@example.org.