4-Year-Old Raises $10K With Help of Vancouver Tech Startup

Flynn and Ruby Kerwin rallied friends and family to raise more than $10,000 in less than one month using the new friend-funding platform, Change Heroes, to build a school in Ecuador.

This past week, Niagara elementary schoolers Flynn (9) and Ruby (4) Kirwin celebrated the completion of a month-long fundraising project that raised $11,460.94 to build a school in Ecuador. Launched through the Vancouver-based tech startup and social enterprise, Change Heroes, their campaign that started on May 13, 2014 reached out to classmates, friends, family, and community members. Using the company's digital platform, personal connection, and a compelling call-to-action, the Kirwin's ambitiously set out to educate 1,000 kids just like themselves in a completely different part of the world.

Flynn Kirwin, an avid soccer fan, originally had the idea to raise money to provide soccer balls to children in Africa but switched his focus to education after meeting Change Heroes' founder, Taylor Conroy, at the Do Gooder's Summit in Guleph, Ontario last year. He turned to his four-year-old sister, Ruby, for help in creating personalized videos—a signature part of Change Heroes' platform. Together, the siblings used the tagline, "Little kids can make the difference" to grab the attention of not only family and friends, but also complete strangers who came across their video on the internet. Ruby, not yet in kindergarten, noted that building a school was important to her so that, "friends and communities have a place to learn together and play together".

Flynn and Ruby are the platform's youngest campaigners and hope to set an example for kids in the future who want to build schools and impact the lives of 1000s of children. Change Heroes founder, 32-year-old Taylor Conroy sees the Kirwin's as "pioneers that are leading the way for their generation." His "333" concept is what drove the siblings and countless others to success: 33 friends give $3.33 per day for 3 months, totaling $10,000 — the necessary amount to build a school through the company's implementing partner, Free The Children. Donating the cost of a latte per day towards a project as impactful as a school is how donors to Flynn and Ruby's Ecuadorian school were able to collaboratively create such a great impact.

Flynn and Ruby's success shows that it is easier now, more than ever, to give and make significant impact on youth and their communities worldwide. They are joined by 3,427 donors who have contributed more than $1.37 million dollars, funding 137 schools, since Change Heroes launched in July 2013. The social enterprise has quickly grown to be one of Canada's top 15 tech startups of 2013, with donations from over 40 countries and comprehensive nonprofit partnerships with Free The Children, Room to Read, and Pencils of Promise.

To watch the Kirwin siblings' call-to-action video, please view the following link: http://video.changeheroes.com:8080/www.changeheroes.com/g978_aac.mp4.


Categories: Entrepreneurship

Tags: Education, social enterprise, startup


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Savannah Roach
Change Heroes
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