Troy and Jake Paul are two Los Angeles natives who combined their passion for basketball and their desire to help other kids when they formed their charity, Kids 4 Hope.
When their mother Renee was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, Troy, now 13, began collecting bottles from local businesses and neighbors in order to raise money for his mother's newly started charity, Racing For Hope, which benefits City of Hope. "We recycled the bottles and made $1,200," Troy says, "and we gave the money to our parents' charity." But from that point on, Troy says, "we realized we wanted to be able to raise more money, and wanted to branch out and start our own charity."
The desire to help children suffering from cancer came when the boys saw what their mother went through as she battled the disease. Jake, now 16, says they saw "how hard [battling cancer] can be for an adult, but trying to grasp a young kid going through that--I couldn't even imagine what that would be like."
This led the Paul brothers to start Kids 4 Hope, which, according to its website, "is dedicated to raising funds to support City of Hope's research, treatment and special programs for all of the children battling cancer."
In order to raise money, the boys turned to their biggest passion--basketball--and decided to create an event that would be both fun and charitable. "We wanted a way to put our own personal touch on the charity, rather than just raise money with a regular fundraiser," Jake says, "so we incorporated something we both like, which is basketball, and made it a fun way for kids to help other kids." (To find out more about Kids 4 Hope's upcoming Basketball Contest event on March 20, see below)
Jake and Troy Paul hope both Kids 4 Hope and its events will inspire other kids to take up causes they can enjoy also. "Of course we would love to raise money through this charity," Troy says, "but hopefully kids can see what we do and take something they love and incorporate that into a way to help people."
Their advice for kids looking to start charities of their own or looking to get involved in a good cause? "Find something that you're passionate about, because it's great to help kids, but it's easier if you are doing something you love," Jake advises. "The main idea is any way a person can help is positive. You are helping someone else, so do something that makes it seem like more fun than work."
Kids 4 Hope Basketball Contest and Charity Event
When: Sunday, March 20, 2011, from 10am to 1pm,
Where: Magic Johnson Gym at The Sports Club/LA, 1835 S. Sepulveda Blvd., LA, CA
What: The event centers around basketball and includes free-throw and three-point shoot-out contests for kids. Attendees will have the chance to take home gift cards and signed basketball jerseys as well.
Cost: Each participant must pay a $20 entry fee, though the Paul brothers encourage participants to receive pledges from family members or friends who are willing to sponsor them, in order to raise more money.
Interested in getting involved? Click here to learn more about Kids 4 Hope.
Photo courtesy of Renee Paul.