Symond Boschetto is not your average 6th grader.
Whilst the 11-year-old enjoys things typical of a boy his age like “sports and of course, playing video games”, he also happens to be out there making a real difference for the less fortunate.
When he was just 8, he founded Share Hope USA, a non-profit organization that is a vocal advocate for the hungry, displaced, and hopeless.
“I started Share Hope USA when I was 8 because I could not understand why someone would be hungry and without a bed to sleep on,” Symond explains. “Now I am 11 years old, and to be honest, I still can’t understand it. It is my mission to Share Hope to all I can. Through the help of an amazing group of volunteers and sponsors, we have been able to feed and clothe, so many men, women, and children.”
It all started with the simple concept of “giving back’.
“Share Hope USA started with an idea and we got bigger by reaching out and getting the word out,” he says of the growth of the organization’s street efforts for the homeless. ” In the beginning, it was just me, my mom and dad, and sister. We just started helping people and then more people came and wanted us to help too.”
He adds: “I think that we all can make a difference. That is why I started this organization to help provide for the homeless and sick children. ”
Astutely aware for his age, Symond says of the misconception about homeless people: “A lot of people think that the homeless do drugs and are mean, but after you spend time serving them you find they are your best friends.”
He should know — so far Share Hope USA has helped 8,000 people who are without a home.
A pretty impressive feat.
But he is only just getting started.
“I feel good and happy about what I am doing and want to get bigger,” he explains.
The most rewarding part of what he does, he says: “Making other people happy and making people smile. I love doing what I do.”
As for a person who evidently has an abundance of kindness, what do Kindness and Hope mean to Symond?
“Kindness is not just a word or an action –it is a piece if our character,” he says. “It is something that we do daily. Kindness creates change.”
Share Hope USA is currently gearing up for it’s May Play-Doh Drive, which sees them deliver Play-Doh to sick children.
The reason for Play-Doh and not toys?
“With most toys, they can be re-used for many patients,” Symond says. ” Because Play-Doh is not able to be cleaned, once a patient uses it, it cannot be re-used. Therefore there is always a need for more, and they find that often they are running out. We have been honored to collect and donate over 35,000 containers of Play-Doh to CHLA over the past 3 years. We are collecting this MAY!”
For more info on their Play-Doh Drive, click HERE
For general information about Share Hope USA, click HERE.
To keep abreast of their continuous efforts to help others and to become involved in Share Hope USA, click HERE.
Symond’s parting words?
“I think that change is not hard if we all work together to make it happen,” he says. “If you see someone on the side of the street, don’t keep walking, help.”