Two Walnut Creek teenagers have found it in their hearts to organize a charity for delivering discarded clothing to homeless people.
For their efforts, Corinne Hindes and Katrine Kirsebom are receiving a Jefferson Award from CBS and KPIX television. (More about the Jefferson Awards below.) The 13-year-old girls are eighth-graders at Walnut Creek Intermediate School.
The two friends and competitive ski buddies started talking three years ago. "She was talking about charity work," said Kirsebom. "Corinne — she had the idea of something at ski resorts."
"And seeing people on the streets that needed help," Hindes added. "I saw the gloves and coats and stuff at the ski resorts, the abundance of them in the lost and found."
The piece about the precocious Walnut Creek eighth-graders is due to air on the 6 p.m. KPIX news on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
KPIX and KCBS in San Francisco give the awards for public service in the community. On a local and national level, CBS News organizes the awards, which originated with an initiative in 1972 by philanthropist Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
In January KPIX granted a Jefferson Award to Leslie Noel, who founded the nonprofit Peter Pan Foundation in Lafayette, which encourages children in music and theatre.
K and C Care
The eighth-graders have set up K and C Care, a nonprofit organization that gathers, cleans and sorts donated clothing to homeless groups and low-income families. It also passes along discarded ski equipment to the ski team at Carson Valley High in Nevada.
In Walnut Creek, Hindes and Kirsebom began working with the homeless services facility called in management that brings with it a new name, Trinity Center. The acting executive director, Donna Colombo, noted the poise of the 13-year-olds: "What's really evident is the support the parents are giving them … They don't feel awkward talking to people."
Kirsebom talked about a conversation with a homeless woman. "We asked what she needed the most. First she said money. Then she said money and also hand warmers." K and C passes along hand warmer packets with iron powder that oxidizes when exposed to air and warms up skiers' jackets, gloves and boots
"You don't see many homeless people out on the streets of Walnut Creek," said Kirsebom, "but you come here (Trinity Center) and realize that so many people are homeless."
"When we first walked in," said Hindes, "a lot of them looked confused. But at the same time they looked kind of happy to see these kids who are willing to help out."