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Sand Springs, OK Fourth Grader Receives First Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Joelie Simmons of Sand Springs, OK was awarded First Place for the 2009 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®. Joelie will receive an award certificate and a $250 educational scholarship donated by Marilyn Perlyn, author, and Amanda Perlyn, illustrator, of The Biggest And Brightest Light.

In 2004, at the tender age of five, Joelie Simmons began volunteering at the West Edison Plaza retirement center. At the center she plays games with the residents, helps organize holiday parties, and puts on performances. In addition to her work at West Edison, she has also been involved in the Super Kids marathon, the OKC Aids Walk, and the Partners in Education Adopt-a- School Program, through which she has helped kindergartners attending Anderson Elementary School with art projects, reading and a variety of other activities.

As a result of her love of community service, Joelie teamed up with her sister to establish the Sand Springs Kids Care Club, which encourages children to become involved in service. Through the club, children can learn about and participate in different local community service projects.

Carrollton, TX Sixth Grader wins Second Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Kamish Kabani of Carrollton, TX was awarded Second Place for the 2009 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®. Kamish has received an award certificate and a $150 educational scholarship donated by Marilyn Perlyn, author, and Amanda Perlyn, illustrator, of The Biggest And Brightest Light.

Kamish Kabani has been involved in a variety of community service projects, including acting as a weekly Jr. Volunteer with the Northern Texas Volunteer Corps and as an Arrow of Light Cub Scout. With the Volunteer Corps he performs numerous assignments, including assisting senior level volunteers in service. His activities with the Cub Scouts include helping with “Scouting for Food”, which provides support for low-income families, and participating in the Aga Khan Foundation’s partnership to alleviate poverty. Each year Kamish dedicates over 50 hours to each of these organizations.

In addition to his service through the Volunteer Corps and Cub Scouts, each year Kamish creates 1,000 “Get Well Soon” cards for local hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital in Dallas. His motivation behind this initiative is the idea that every child deserves to smile.

The Gee Whiz Kids™ Award is given to children age 12 and under
who exemplify the value of service in America.

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Wayne, NJ Sixth Grader Wins Third Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Coree Betron of Wayne, NJ was awarded Third Place for the 2009 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®. Coree has received an award certificate and a $100 educational scholarship donated by Marilyn Perlyn, author, and Amanda Perlyn, illustrator, of The Biggest and Brightest Light.

Coree’s volunteer service began as a third grader when she donated 12 inches of her hair to a friend who had been diagnosed with leukemia. Her friend was diagnosed while in kindergarten, and after seeing her go through treatment for two years Coree wanted to do something to help. She decided to donate her hair to her friend through Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces for children.

Currently, Coree has extended her volunteer activities by painting the diabetes education room at her local hospital.

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More information about the Gee Whiz Kids™ Award or the Heart of America Foundation® can be found on the Foundation’s website at www.heartofamerica.org or by contacting Colleen Noland at colleen@heartofamerica.org.

Founded in 1997, the Heart of America’s focus is to provide children in need everywhere with the tools to read, succeed and make a difference. A national nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC, its programs uniquely combine volunteerism and literacy. Since 1997, it has provided children living in poverty with over 1.8 million books and has helped volunteers serve more than 1,020,000 hours giving back to the community.

CONGRATULATIONS! 2009 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award

Heroes of the Heart™ Gee Whiz Kids™ Award [download application]

AWARD WINNERS:    2016  • 2015  •  2014  •  2013  •  2012  •  2011  •  2010  •  2009

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