Know a child making a difference in Arizona? Enter 'Caring Kid' contest

AmTrust Bank is a paid advertiser of ABC15

Know of a caring kid making a difference in our communities?

AmTrust Bank is excited to celebrate Arizona kids who are making a positive impact in their community. 

Tell us about your "Caring Kid" story and they will be entered for a chance to win an AmTrust Bank Kids Account funded with $150!


Winners will be announced on Sonoran Living Live.

Click 'next page' to see the winners so far!

ABC15 is not affiliated with New York Community Bank in any way.

Winner #1:  7-year-old Victoria

Victoria is always a giving and caring child.  Recently, she earned some money for doing additional chores around the house.  She proudly went into the dollar store to spend it on the highlighters she had been saving up for and noticed a homeless man in front of the store. 

I watched as she considered the markers and then moved over to the food section.  She carefully evaluated her choices and chose items that would help the man the most.  She spent all of her money, without prompting, on food items for him, as well as something for his dog to eat. 

Vicky has organized and collected food for her own food drive during the holiday season to donate to the local food bank.  She adopted four children from the angel trees at Christmas time to buy presents for them. 

Vicky always helps at home with her baby sister and mom with medical needs. 

She is polite and respectful in the community, holding doors and offering up her seat to an older person.  She also helps an elderly neighbor with chores the neighbor is unable to do, without incentive or payment. 

She is currently working on making care packages with her mother to  hand out to the homeless.  She has a heart of gold.

For all of these reasons, we are proud to award Vicky with the AmTrust Bank Caring Kid Award for February.   Vicky will receive $150 and a new AmTrust Bank savings account. 

Winner #2: 16-year-old Rhiannon

Rhiannon volunteers at the Maricopa Animal Shelter every other weekend. There she cleans up after the animals, exercises them, and counsels people on adopting animals.

She's participating in the Teen Treks program at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on the weekends and helps with pet adoption events there, as well. This program teaches kids how to handle and care for animals of all types, which helps Rhiannon work toward her goal of becoming a veterinarian.

She also worked with the Jr. Drama Club at Westar Elementary School last fall, instructing children in acting and stagecraft.

Additionally, she helps out with the semiannual blood drives at her high school. She can always be counted on to help others in need.

All this while maintaining the highest GPA in her sophomore class!

Winner #3: 13-year-old Sydney

Sydney Mooneyham is a thoughtful and caring 13-year-old leader who is always looking for ways to contribute to her community, whether it's leading the efforts to raise money for a neighborhood dog's vet bills, or donating her art work for use on the program cover for a 2011 immigration and naturalization ceremony.

When Sydney found out that a neighbor couldn't afford the vet bills for Penny, a sick dog, Sydney decided to raise "Pennies for Penny" to help with the vet costs. She raised $150.

For her birthday one year, Sydney asked to be taken to "Best Friends Animal Sanctuary," where she and her family donated their time mucking stalls, feeding animals and working on shelter improvements.

Sydney's commitment to public service isn't limited to her immediate neighborhood. She wants to reach out and help others in need no matter where they live!

When Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake, Sydney led a community donation drive for UNICEF by setting up a lemonade stand that raised $1,200. The funds were donated to UNICEF for earthquake victims. 

While on vacation in Mexico, Sydney saw many hungry stray dogs and also lept into action. When she returned to Arizona, she organized a dog food drive for a dog shelter in Mexico that was sorely in need of more food.

Sydney's leadership in public service should be an inspiration to us all, both children and adults!

Winner #4: 16-year-old Matthew

Matthew developed the BE Open to New Experiences Program (Be O.N.E.) for the middle school students at his school, Arizona School for the Arts.  Be O.N.E.'s objectives are to reduce physical, verbal, and cyber-bullying, and foster the culture of mutual respect, acceptance, and support needed to create a nurturing learning environment.

Through team building activities in large and small groups, the Be O.N.E. program empowers student to create for themselves a safe and supportive school environment.  The goal of the Be O.N.E. program is simple; enforce the importance of the three Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic) while instilling three Ps into education. The three Ps stand for Positive Peer Pressure. The four-hour Be O.N.E program, staffed by student and teacher volunteers, uses the unique concept of Positive Peer Pressure to encourage students to become more “Open to New Experiences,” make new friendships, and support each person’s uniqueness.  To date, over 600 students, and 100 volunteers have participated.

Be O.N.E. was so successful in addressing bullying and intolerance on campus that it is now mandatory for all entering middle school students at ASA.  Looking to the future, Matthew is working to expand the program to other Phoenix schools so he can serve students all across Arizona and bring Be O.N.E. to every middle school classroom.

This experience has taught Matthew that anyone, even a teenager, can make a difference in the world by being open to potential opportunities, ready to take on challenges, and willing to work hard.

Winner #5: 11-year-old Kaycee

Kaycee volunteers many hours each week at Lost Our Home Animal Shelter. This shelter is for dogs and cats whose "parents" have lost their homes due to many challenging circumstances. 

Not only does Kaycee help care for the animals, but she is so compassionate with the adults who are faced with the sad chore of surrendering their pets. I overheard her one day telling a gentleman that his dog "was in good hands" and he didn't need to worry at all.

Many of the people come out of Lost Our Home and share with me (I sit outside the shelter to give Kaycee space so that this can be her special time with the animals) that the little girl inside is so far beyond her years and that they are touched by her kindness and care not only for the animals, but for the people. 

She often steps in to help "show and tell" when potential customers come in to adopt and tells all about the animals in hopes that they will go to a good home while she is there volunteering. 

When the first dog got adopted during her volunteer time, she came home with mixed feelings and shared that she was so happy "her baby" found a good home but she felt like she was losing a best friend. 

She has gone to schools with the owner of LOH to share with children the importance of volunteering and giving to the community.

Winner #6: 12-year-old Dylan

Dylan has been my neighbor since 2003 and I have watched him develop into a personable and remarkable 12-year-old.  Not only does he love school, he maintains excellent grades and is aspiring to attend college.  Dylan is also an outstanding ice hockey player.

I am a disabled female with an incurable medical condition and no family in Arizona.  Not only do I have difficulty walking, my left arm is useless. 

Since summer school vacation began, Dylan has been volunteering his time to help me.  He did an excellent job cleaning, hosing and weeding my enclosed patio area, he disposes of my trash on a timely basis, he has been helping to clean closets, and even grocery shops with me so that he can carry all the bags.

Dylan has been a blessing to me and I would really like to see his thoughtfulness and volunteer efforts recognized.


Winner #7: 17-year-old Alexis

Alexis has always been a selfless child.

She is very involved in Special Olympics, and Best Buddies. She was an officer for the club, and is a very active member in it.

In April 2013, she had her junior year prom. She took an amazing date. His name is Grant Miller and he has down syndrome, a mental disability that Alexis is very familiar with due to her work with disabled children.

She asked him in front of everyone at her school, she made a giant poster and brought him balloons and cupcakes. He said yes, and they had an amazing night. She took him to a fancy dinner, and they danced the night away. She said it was one of the best nights of her life, and I personally find it absolutely amazing that she made a little boy's prom the best it could possibly be, because SHE thought it was the best prom night she could possibly have.

Alexis gives back in so many ways, and I think it would be great to see her get something in return. She loves the children she works with, and has changed many of their lives just by being their best friend.

She deserves recognition for the amazing work and service she has done. She's a very caring kid, and I hope she is recognized for it.

If you know a Caring Kid, nominate them here.

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