Food, clothing and shelter are the three basic needs that rising senior Nicolo Cambruzzi believes every person should have, but he is well aware that not everyone’s needs are met.
Growing up in Laguna Beach, Nicolo’s parents wanted him to enjoy life, but to also understand that not everyone is as fortunate. His mother, Vickie Cambruzzi, took him with her to a volunteer event at a preschool serving children experiencing homelessness when he was attending Top of the World Elementary School as a fourth-grader.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Nicolo. “I saw how different their lives were.”
That visit inspired Nicolo to start his own organization called A Good Foundation and create different campaigns to raise money or items for children.
“With my first drive, I collected buckets of new underwear, T-shirts and socks for the preschool students that we visited,” he said.
Since then, Nicolo has collected clothes and pajamas for underserved children in Orange County, along with teddy bears during the holidays. His sense of empathy expanded outside of the county when he went to the Dominican Republic, where he noticed children playing baseball without proper mitts and equipment. Nicolo started a drive to collect baseball mitts as soon as he returned home.
Now at 17 years old, the incoming senior at Laguna Beach High School is still spreading kindness. He is raising money to purchase new shoes for young students living at Colette’s Children’s Home in Huntington Beach, a shelter that supports women and children who are homeless.
“At the bare minimum, children should have the basic necessities,” said Nicolo. “The goal is to help kids feel more confident so they can focus in school. I believe having new shoes to start the school year will help.”
Nicolo hopes to raise enough money to purchase 65 pairs of shoes.
“I am very proud of Nico’s desire to make even the smallest impact on the larger problem of homeless youth,” said Vickie. “If his sneaker campaign brings a smile to even one child, then I would consider his efforts to be a success.”
We’re continuing to feature stories here as part of OCDE’s One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative. Be sure to submit yours at kindness1billion.org, and you can also share your good deeds on social media using the hashtag #kindness1billion.