2 charitable kids follow award with more giving
Two GENEROUS children have been named winners of the 2007 Little Philosophers Peace Prize, recognizing the spirit of giving that has become so much a part of their young lives. The two shared a $1,000 prize, most of which they have given away -- not surprisingly.
The prize, issued by the Maui-based organization Little Philosophers, recognizes "an extraordinary child caring for family, community or the world."
Axil Kollist is saving the world one bumper sticker at a time. The 7-year-old Maui resident transformed his lemonade stand into a beacon for world peace.
After learning about a group of orphans in Kenya, he organized relief projects, sending toys and supplies to Africa. He regularly passes out bumper stickers, encouraging world peace and letting folks know about his mother's song, "World Peace Before 2021" (found at www.worldpeacebefore2021.com).
Axil learned about the orphans when a pastor from Kenya contacted his mother, Jill Kollist, about her song.
"When Axil learned that the orphans have no toys, pillows, food, water to drink and bathe in and no parents, he wanted to do something to help," said Kollist. "We are so proud of him. Children adopt their parent's philosophies and we are definitely peacemakers."
Axil's cash award of $500 has already been used for more charitable causes. The second-grader sent the orphans $300 and used the rest to send his packages to them. When asked how he could give all his prize money away, he simply responded, "Because they have nothing."
Mahina Bautista, age 5, lives on Oahu and is always willing to help out, whether walking the school principal to his classroom or volunteering at the food bank with her mother, Kaylene Sheldon.
"I'm involved in lots of activities, and she always tags along," said Sheldon.
The mother-daughter team waves signs for MADD and hands out food and clothing at Helpful Hearts and Giving Hands. "We picked up rubbish on the beach, too," added Mahina.
When Bautista received her prize money, she bought gifts for her teachers, donated $100 to her church and another $100 to the church's food bank.
"Malnutrition is in our back yards," said Sherry Martinez, founder of Helpful Hearts and Giving Hands. "It takes about 18 cents a day to feed someone a meal."
In that case, Bautista's $100 donation should provide about 500 meals. "It's amazing that this little girl who doesn't understand the severity of the problem is still willing to give back," Martinez added.
"Mahina reminds us constantly to 'Aloha kekahi i kekahi, malama kekahi i kekahi, kokua i kekahi (love, take care of, help one another),'" said Sheldon. "She brings out the best in all of us."