When Southampton Intermediate School fifth-grader William Taylor realized that there are children living around the world, and in his own backyard, who go without the basics that most kids rely on to let their imaginations flow—paper to write and draw on, paint and pencils to create art with—he decided to do something about it.
William set out to start his own charitable foundation, and he has gotten further than might be expected.
William’s first big drive and fund-raiser culminates next week when he heads to Little Flower Children and Family Services in Wading River to drop off the books, pens, pencils, and art supplies he and the Student Council collected at school to give to orphaned children for Christmas.
The 10-year-old named his foundation “Kid-too-Kid”—he wanted to name it “Kid-to-Kid,” with only one “O,” but the URL was taken when he tried to register kidtokid.com. William said Monday, when he sat down in a classroom to talk about his plans for the charity, that he expects to have kiddtookid.com online in a matter of weeks.
William also presented his Kid-too-Kid business cards and the binder he keeps with all his ideas, notes and documents, including the mission statement he drafted.
“Our mission is to provide educational and art supplies for underprivileged children in Africa and the United States, so that all children, regardless of their economic situation, are able to learn and explore at home or at school,” William wrote.
In his statement of the foundation’s goals, he wrote that Kid-too-Kid is designed to make sure children have the supplies they need to read, write, draw, paint and experience life as they should be able to.
William is seeking non-profit status for Kid-too-Kid and has already received Suffolk County’s approval allowing him to operate his organization under a created name.
The idea for starting his own charity came to William two years ago, when he was just 8. He said he was inspired to start a foundation after seeing poverty in Africa on television and visiting a shelter where his mother, Everlette Taylor, worked. “It was a lot different than the way I live now,” he said.
David Riley, a Spanish teacher at the intermediate school who has been spreading the word about Kid-too-Kid, said teachers are also banding together to make donations to the foundation for Christmas.
“Every kid wants to wake up to something under their Christmas tree. I want to, hopefully, make that happen …” William said. “It’s not that much, but, hopefully, it will change something.”
If students do not have anything to donate but still want to help, William said they can give their time to help wrap presents or even make a Christmas card for the gift recipients.
William emphasized that Kid-too-Kid is not just a charity for the holidays. “It’s year round,” he said. “So I’m going to try to help people as long as I can. The whole year, the whole 365 days.”
Besides his regular work as a student, William is both a musician and a member of the Student Council. Despite his busy schedule, he said he will always find a way to make time for the foundation.
For now, William’s focus is on helping Long Island children. He said his goal is to reach at least 1,000 kids, both locally and in Africa. “I would like to help as many kids as I can,” he said. He has also concentrated his focus on children between the ages of 3 and 15.
Donations for Christmas, wrapped or unwrapped, for Kid-too-Kid can be dropped off at the main office of the intermediate school on Leland Lane in Southampton by the end of the school day Monday, December 22. Kid-too-Kid accepts new and slightly-used books and art supplies.