A local teen, taking action to help kids in need around the world, is getting national attention for his acts of giving.
For Dustyn Phillips, giving back is a way of life that started at just five years old.
“I saw a St. Jude commercial and it really just made me want to help other kids that were like me,” said Phillips. “I started using odd number birthdays as donation parties.”
From there he formed “Dustyn’s Kids Helping Kids” and launched a chapter on the Basha High School campus. Students gather school supplies, buy and collect holiday gifts for families, and help with various events throughout the year. Dustyn even went to Brazil with more than 200 soccer uniforms in hand for kids.
“I just love seeing the smiles on their faces and seeing how we can actually impact them,” he said.
Dustyn was recently in Washington D.C. where he was honored with the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
“It’s just really awesome to see the effect that just one person can have,” said Phillips.
Dustyn is heading to Howard University in the fall but feels good knowing “Basha’s Kids Helping Kids” lives on, with new leadership ready to take the reins.
“Every little thing helps, anyone can make a difference no matter how big or small,” he said.
Dustyn was not the only honoree from Arizona, 13-year-old Hope Weng from Tempe Preparatory Academy also received an award for her volunteer work.