Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 CWDkids Care Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Devin from Beverly Hills, Michigan, winner of this year's CWDkids Care Contest!

Devin is an incredible young man who wanted to make a positive difference. His hard work and dedication to helping others is truly inspiring.

As the grand prize winner of our contest, CWDkids will donate $5,000 in Devin's name to Make-A-Wish, Detroit chapter. Also, he will be recognized in our next catalog and will receive a $500 gift certificate to CWDkids.

Please read the entry letter sent in by his mother, Nancy as well as an update on Devin's involvement with O Ambassadors:

Devin's Diner
This is the story of my son Devin. Devin is currently 11 years old, but the start of the story began when Devin was 8. Devin met another boy who inspired him to start making a difference in people's lives. Devin became aware of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and decided to hold a hot dog fundraiser out of our garage to raise money for sick kids. Before the event, I drove him from business to business and we priced out supplies, and Devin asked store managers for donations. He made all the decisions on what he wanted to sell, and figured out how much he should charge to maximize the money he could give to Make-A-Wish. He invited the local police and fireman, hoping they would show up so Devin could feed them for free, thanking them for all they do. Imagine his surprise when a fire truck and police car came down our street with sirens and lights on! They arrived and let all the children at Devin's event climb on their equipment. They also refused to let Devin feed them for free and told them how proud they were of him and "to keep up the good work!" Devin's first one day hot dog fundraiser raised over $500 in 3 hours! He contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a representative came out to meet him after the event. Devin learned that the money he raised was going to help a local family with airfare so they could take their 3 year old child with cancer to Disney World! That was all he needed to decide, this was something he was going to do all the time! And so, this event marked the birth of "Devin's Diner."

The following fall, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a very aggressive form, and I was stage 3. Devin decided that for his hot dog fundraiser that year, he would donate all the money he earned to the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk, so that I would be able to walk in the event. In his one day hot dog sale, he made over $1500! It was amazing! His Diner was expanding to include not only hot dogs, but he had a couple of carnival games, and added nachos to the menu. Again, the police and fireman came out to support him. Soon, our community was learning about him, and he continued to open Devin's Diner each spring. When he was 10, he once again raised over $1000 in his 3rd annual one day event for the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. More people were learning about him, and last summer, he was invited to bring his popcorn and lemonade stand (he makes the best fresh squeezed lemonade) to our village's 100th anniversary celebration. Devin made $800 that day, and donated all the money he raised to the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk - once again! He was interviewed by the local cable community station. He has been invited to bring his Diner to different locations and has continued to donate 100% of his profits to breast cancer organizations.

To say I am proud of my son, doesn't begin to describe my feelings. I am proud that he puts so much time and energy into making a difference in the lives of others. We have so much to be grateful for, and I am a very proud mom in that my son is determined to find a cure for cancer, and more importantly, sees the importance in helping others. The pride he gets when he raises the money is so wonderful to see. He never ONCE asked to raise the money for himself, but instead to hand it over to a deserving charity. I would love for his charity of choice to change back to Make-A-Wish, or any other organization - I hate that his life was affected so personally when I was diagnosed! But what really makes me proud, is that I never asked him to change his charity of choice, he decided to do so when I was diagnosed. I would love for him to be acknowledged with being able to give $5000 in his name to the charity of his choice! That would just blow his socks off!!


Since sending in his entry, Devin's mother has updated us that he is currently involved in a school based program called O Ambassadors, a joint project of Oprah's Angel Network and Free the Children:

His elementary school applied for the program and was accepted! Devin is a member of the O Ambassadors after school program geared towards 4th and 5th graders. They focus on the poverty issues, health issues, education issues and sustainable development issues facing the poor children of Latin America. The O Ambassadors learn about these tough issues, how many children in Latin America don't have safe drinking water, or schools, or how many die of hunger, or from preventable diseases.

The club members then held awareness sessions--they acted as the ambassadors to the rest of the school. They hung up posters regarding poverty, health and education statistics - to help other students understand the problems so much of the world faces. We saw some startling movies of child laborers... it was an educational program, but also, the kids affected change by having fundraisers. The money they raise will go to a suffering region of Latin America and possibly go towards providing fresh drinking water, or providing medical supplies, or school supplies. Devin's club raised over $2500 in 5 months!

Everyone at CWDkids would like to congratulate Devin for his good work not only in his community, but now the steps he is taking to help others world-wide. Devin, you are an inspiration, keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

What a great boy. Way to go Devin!

Tracy said...

What an inspiration! A very impressive kid!

cindy said...

Great Job! Happy Summer! Have fun at Berkshire!

coolmom said...

wow, great job Devin! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

What an inspirational story

Mary said...

Devin, Thanks for caring and mom thanks for raising such a giving child!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing little boy! Great pic CWDkids! :)

Anonymous said...

As a mom with a child going through cancer treatment I would like to congratulate Devin. What an amazing, selfless boy. I'm sure his parents are so proud! Congratulations!!

Unknown said...

What a sweetheart. Keep up the good work!