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Mackenzie Rice, Grade 7, from Long Valley, NJ wins First Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Mackenzie Rice, Long Valley, NJ was awarded First Place for the 2016 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®.

When her brother fell ill several years ago, Mackenzie stepped up to support a now annual Action for Distraction 5K which raises money to help distract sick kids in the hospital. In addition to her work leading a t-shirt design contest for the event, Mackenzie soon took on a leadership role and introduced a fruit and vegetable challenge to encourage kids to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

After observing family requiring hospital stays over the holidays, Makenzie created her own event. "Gingerbread Home for the Holidays" now rallies kids to help other kids decorate gingerbread houses while in the hospital over the holiday season. In addition to this work, Mackenzie has served with several local organizations and gives a percentage of her babysitting proceeds to go directly to charity.



Deja Fitzwater, Grade 6, from Portland, OR wins Second Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Deja Fitzwater from Portland, OR was awarded Second Place for the 2016 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®.

When Deja was just 5 years old, she started Arts for the Ages, a program to collect art supplies for children in need. Since inception, her art supplies have reached more than 3,200 children globally including those affected by natural disasters and youth in hospitals. Deja cares deeply about others and hopes these supplies can help children be creative in times of sadness and help take their minds off challenges they are facing. For more information on Deja's project, visit Arts for the Ages.



Caleb Trimiar, Grade 3, from Burleson, TX wins Third Place Gee Whiz Kids™ Award
Washington, DC - Caleb Trimiar from Burleson, TX was awarded Third Place for the 2016 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award given by the Heart of America Foundation®.

Caleb is keenly aware of community resources and their power to make a difference. He volunteers 40-50 hours each week to provide toys, clothes, and books to youth from low-income neighborhoods in partnership with local vendors. He collaborates with his mother (an LCSW) to provide mini-grief counseling sessions to youth in need. Caleb partners with his dad who owns and operates a transportation business to help provide transportation for youth to attend free community events, even securing alternate locations or events when initial offerings are rained out. He has also achieved his daily goal to provide healthy sack snacks to the youth.

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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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! 2016 Gee Whiz Kids™ Award

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

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

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