Talk Wealth to Me

#032: Champions of Change: How Three Kids Use Side Hustles to Give Back

February 14, 2020 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Jeremiah West, Joshua West, Jordan West, Olivia West Season 2 Episode 6
Talk Wealth to Me
#032: Champions of Change: How Three Kids Use Side Hustles to Give Back
Show Notes Transcript

When Jeremiah and Joshua West went to New York City a few years ago with their parents, these two young entrepreneurs had no idea they were about to have a life-changing experience.

The young brothers, aged 8 and 6 years old at the time, observed a homeless man sitting on the street and decided to offer him some food. Inspired by the positive impact this little deed had on the homeless man's life, Jeremiah and Joshua wrote a book teaching other kids how to give, save, and spend their money wisely. Their idea was to become Champions of Change and motivate others to make a huge impact on the world around them by carrying out little deeds.

Their little sister Jordan was inspired as well and wrote her own book in which Jordan shares the true story of how she organizes and hosts a princess party for nearly 30 homeless and foster girls each year.

In this episode, the West family joins us on the show to share how their little deeds continue to make a huge impact. And how the rest of us can get involved.

About Champions of Change
Champions of Change was established by brothers Jeremiah and Joshua West, two young social entrepreneurs with a mission to empower youth of all ages and cultures to give back. By inspiring other kids to serve as “Change Agents,” the West brothers, along with their little sister Jordan, sought to make an immediate and lasting impact within their communities by soliciting donations, organizing food and clothing drives, and facilitating literacy workshops for less fortunate children.

You can purchase books mentioned during the show on the Champions of Change website or on Amazon here and here

To connect with Champions of Change, email [email protected] or call 585-563-4797.

About the Show
Comments, questions or suggestions for the show? Email us at [email protected]

To learn more about DebtWave Credit Counseling, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support the show (https://www.sdflc.org/help-sdflc/donate/)
Intro:

Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance.

Felipe Arevalo:

The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting , legal, tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Hello and welcome again to another edition of Talk Wealth to Me. Phil and Katie had the phenomenal opportunity to sit down with a family that is like none we have ever met. They created something, a foundation called the Champions of Change, three little brothers and sisters, mom and a dad. And just to give you an idea of something, the kind of impact that they have, they on their own working to shed light on the water disaster in Flint, Michigan had over 67,000 pounds of water delivered to the Flint, Michigan area to help those people who had that very terribly tainted water. This was just the beginning. You are not gonna wanna miss this podcast.

Katie Utterback:

And you guys are very impressive young people and I don't even want to just call you young. You're just very impressive people. So before we maybe start off, can I have the three of you? Go ahead and introduce yourselves and share how old you are.

Jordan West:

Um , I'm Jordan West and I am 10 years old.

Joshua West:

I am Joshua West and I am 12 years old.

Jeremiah West:

Hi, I'm Jeremiah West and I'm 14 years old.

Olivia West:

and I'm the mom on duty and you don't want to know my age.

Felipe Arevalo:

We're okay with that. We don't want to share our age either.

Katie Utterback:

No. Um, so you guys, could you walk me through , um , if , and tell me if I got any of this wrong, but it sounds like in 2013, Jeremiah and Joshua, you guys founded an organization called Champions of Change and you guys are trying to encourage other kids like you two, to give back. So I want to know where did this idea come from to start Champions of change.

Joshua West:

Hi. So this is Joshua. So in 2013 , um , the original purpose of us , uh, was doing this. So we went to , uh , New York city on a business trip with my dad. And , um, one day we decided that we were going to go shopping and as we were walking down the streets of New York, we had an encounter with a homeless man. And so we want , we really wanted to help him. So we bought him dinner. And so from that one moment, it turned into an entire movement.

Felipe Arevalo:

Wow.

Katie Utterback:

So you guys bought a homeless man dinner. And was that your idea? Was that your parents' idea? Where'd that come from?

Joshua West:

It was both of our idea.

Katie Utterback:

That sounds really nice .

Jeremiah West:

It was our last day in New York city as I recall. And um , we were going , um , down to Times Square to get some souvenirs before we had to leave. And , um, we saw a homeless man sleeping on a bench as we were walking. And so we had some money with us. And so that, that was the time where my mom taught us the 10/10/80 rule because we asked if you can give him money. But she said that it was a better idea to give him some food. And so she taught us the 10, 1 0 80 rule, which is if you have $10, you give $1, you save a dollar, and then you have $8 left over to spend on w hatever you want. So our giving dollar that day was towards that homeless m an's dinner.

Katie Utterback:

Oh, I love that. I've never heard that. I love that.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. You guys are like the second straight guest whose parents , uh, taught them a very similar idea. So it's really cool that there's that philanthropy that starts so young.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. So when you guys started , um , champions of change. So after you bought the homeless man dinner and you wanted to give back, was the first thing that you did was to write a book, sharing your experience and trying to give back and help the homeless man that you had met in New York.

Jeremiah West:

Yes. So what , as soon as we got home, we wanted it. We told our mom that we wanted to write a book because we wanted to share our experience with other kids to inspire them so that they can go out and do something similar. Um , and our motto for our whole organization is little, these huge impact. And so all started with one little deed and we were hoping that would make a huge impact in that homeless man's life

Katie Utterback:

So when you guys were writing that first book, talk to me a little bit about that. Did you have this big vision that all the money that you earned was going to go toward helping other people? Did you think about ever using the money to buy something that you wanted? I mean, what were you guys, what was your plan?

Olivia West:

So , um, it's , uh, this is mom and , um, when they, after they wrote their book , um, we received a call from , um, one of the gentlemen that worked at one of the local libraries and he said, the head of libraries would like to meet with you because , um , they want to put the boy's book in all the libraries in um, Monroe County, which is the County that we lived in. And so , um , upon going to that meeting with the head of libraries , um, uh, when I got there , um, and she was talking about the book and I said, excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt you, Patty. I said, but there's a smoky smell. And I was like, do you guys have a fireplace here in the library or is some , is there a fire? I was just a little bit concerned. And she said, no, homeless people that lives underneath this building. And so when I told the kids that , um, they wanted to do more , um, for just more than just the homeless guy that they had encountered in New York city , um, earlier that year , um, they wanted to do something for the local homeless population there. And so they had it came up with the idea to hand out hats and gloves to the people that lived underneath the building. And , um, that turned into a full fledge homeless Christmas party , um, that we ran for six consecutively years.

Felipe Arevalo:

Wow, that's really cool. And when we were going to do the interview, I remember I went on Amazon. I was looking at the book, which I am going to purchase by the way, don't tell, don't tell anyone yet. And of course, and, and I was like, my kid needs to read this kind of, this is the kind of stuff he needs to read. Um, I didn't realize it was based on a true story. So that's pretty cool. It makes it even a cooler book.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. So talk to me too . Why is it so important in your family to give back? Cause you mentioned it's not just you had one experience in New York, you wanted to help people in your community too . Um, so why do you feel this need to give back and help other people?

Joshua West:

Um , because we are so blessed in God pour so much into us and we just want to pour out to others and give those and try to give them some of what we have.

Katie Utterback:

I love that. And Jordan, I want to talk to you too because you wrote a book called Princess for a Day and we talked in person, I don't know if you remember, but I met you at a Fin Con in Washington DC and you were telling me that you thought it was really important for every little girl to feel like a princess for at least one day. So can you talk to me , um, about some other, I guess why did you want to write this book and , um, what were you hoping that other girls would feel when they read this?

Jordan West:

Um , so , uh , I wrote this book because , um, uh , I wrote this book because , um, I was very inspired and not inspired, I'm sorry. Um, when I took foster kids to the salon, I thought I should write a book for other girls can be inspired to , um, to take them to the,

Olivia West:

you're doing fine. Keep going, honey.

Felipe Arevalo:

You're doing great.

Olivia West:

You're doing fine. Why don't you tell her how you came up with the idea about princess for a day. Tell him why you even wanted to take little girls to the, to the salon. How about that?

Jordan West:

Okay. So one day I went to my friend's birthday party, she was turning seven and so she took us to this very fancy salon. And I thought in my head, every girl deserves to be a princess for a day. So I went home to my mom and I told her the story and I said , um, do you think we can take homeless girls. She said, I don't know about homeless girls cause they keep on moving back and forth. So as you said, maybe foster kids. And so we took foster kids and we asked the salon owner as she can donate , um, uh, her salon and she said, I can't , um , donate a full party but I can donate my space. And so we made it happen anyway.

Katie Utterback:

Wow.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's really cool.

Olivia West:

And when Jordan originally set out to, when she asked to help the homeless girls, you know , um, people who are living in homeless shelters, even though we do that was at the time majority of our work, that's what we, who we served was homeless people. Um, but they'll be in the shelter today and gone tomorrow. So it's a hard population to keep up with. It's a very transient population. And so I wasn't trying to be a dream crusher as my kids a lot of times tell me, cause they call it these crazy ideas and I'm like, I don't know if we can make that happen. Um, and so just recently , um , it's as life would have it . When Jordan turned 10 a couple months ago , um, Jordan , uh, had the opportunity to actually help homeless girls. We partner with the girls Scouts of America. They actually have , uh , is called troop 6,000. Um , and they're starting to spread all over the country. Um, and these particular girl Scouts live in homeless shelters, so they're part of a organization. So it's a way for us to keep up with girls. And so we hosted a princess for a day for Jordan's 10th birthday. Um , she wanted to do that for the little girls in New York city. And , um , they went shopping, they got their hair and nails and makeup done. Um, and they also had lunch at a fancy restaurant , um , rode in a Mercedes and they had an entire experience of being princess for a day. So , um, even though sometimes I tell people, even sometimes like if your dream or your goal doesn't come to fruition right away, just be patient. Because now we have a way. And so this year we're actually growing. Um, we're going to be helping even more girls through the girl Scouts of America program and troop 6,000 , um , helping even more girls in those troops and different places of the country to become princess for a day and duplicate that day. So

Katie Utterback:

yeah. Well, I mean , you guys are just so impressive. I think we're having a hard time keeping up with all of the good deeds.

Felipe Arevalo:

They're all over the country and everything. It's awesome.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. So, in addition to the shopping, hair, nails, makeup, birthday party, which Jordan, that sounds amazing. I want to do that for my next birthday. Um, you guys have also taken foster girls to Disney world, right? Like you've helped. Um, and you've taken girls to the bippity boppity boutique too , right? Where they got to have their hair done and they got a new princess dress?

Felipe Arevalo:

That sounds like an adventure in itself.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. So Jordan, do you have a favorite Disney princess?

Jordan West:

Um , I like Ariel.

Katie Utterback:

Ariel. Why do you like Ariel ?

Jordan West:

We just got back from the Disney trip in 2019 we just got back from it for a , um, we take foster kids to Disney , um, this year for Christmas, so, Oh wow. We took 30 foster kids to Disney this year for last year for Christmas. And we just got back.

Katie Utterback:

You guys took 30 foster kids to Disney?

Jordan West:

Yes.

Katie Utterback:

Oh wow.

Jordan West:

And their parents.

Katie Utterback:

Wow. And are you guys paying for the whole trip for these girls in their parents?

Jordan West:

Yes.

Katie Utterback:

Oh wow.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's amazing. I feel like all I keep saying is, that's amazing. But you guys are doing some really amazing stuff

Katie Utterback:

a little bit, I'm not on the the show, but um, you guys do a lot more than just this too with the, you guys have helped out with the Flint water crisis too, right?

Jeremiah West:

Yes. So , um, so we were , um, were home-schooled in um, in 2016 , um , our mom was giving us a current events lesson and , um , she was letting us know about the situation in Flint, Michigan. And she showed us a picture of the water and Joshua said, is this the one in Africa, mom? And it turns out , um, Flint Michigan is , uh , only six hours from where we used to live in Rochester. And we were really shocked to know that that kind of thing could happen in America. And so what we decided to do was rally our community together and we were able to send over 27,000 pounds of water to aid in the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Olivia West:

I think it was 67. Where'd you get 27? It was 67 , honey. 67,000 pounds. It was two tractor trailer full of water that we sent to Flint, Michigan and um, United , um, which is a trucking company that a lot of people are familiar with , um, donated their time and their , um, resources and they took all of the water to Flint, Michigan for us free of charge as their donation to the cause.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's really cool. So you guys are not just putting in your effort, which is phenomenal, but you guys are rallying others to do the same, which is great.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, let's talk about that too. Cause you guys have gotten some national attention. I've, I've seen Ellen DeGeneres talk to you guys. Um, what is that like to be recognized nationally on TV for the work that you're doing?

Joshua West:

Um, it was like, it felt like it was like basically like a glory moment. Like if we did not expect it and when she just showed up, it made us so happy and, but this is not our first , um , encounter. Um, we also met President Obama in 2016 I believe, and we're invited to a black history event and we got to meet him. And , um, we, it was just a cool experience and him and Michelle were able to sign one of our books.

Katie Utterback:

Oh my gosh. I , wow. How was that you guys, how was that meeting the president and the first lady and having them autograph or sign your book?

Jordan West:

it was a , I know, I can't r eally r emember. It was so nice.

Jeremiah West:

Yeah . We really look up to um , president Barack and um, first lady Michelle. And so just to meet them, someone that we had idolized for so long, it was truly amazing.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. I mean, that sounds like an amazing opportunity. So you guys talk to me too, for people who like Felipe, he Felipe is gonna go out and buy your book. He's already bought the book. It's in my cart. But for everyone else who's listening, where can people go buy your books you guys?

Jeremiah West:

Okay , so there's two places. So you can go to www.championsofchangeusa.org or you can go to amazon.com and you can find her book on those websites.

Katie Utterback:

And if, do you guys have ever have community events too where people like Felipe and I can work with you , um , on whatever, I guess great cause that you're working on next. If any of our listeners want to work with you, do you have a place where they can go?

Olivia West:

Yes. So you can like us on Facebook. Um, and on Instagram their Instagram handle is kids live to give. Um, and this year we are starting to um, enroll ambassadors in our program. Um, change agents is what we're called. We call them , um, because we realize we're just one family. Um, and we have seen the effects that little deeds can have on the community. And so we want other communities around the country to be empower , um, by families, by kids, by organizations, partnering with , um , companies , um, to do community service. So , um , you can like us on Facebook , um, or you can go to our website , um, and um, sign up for our , um, change agent impact letter. Excuse me.

Jeremiah West:

And again, that Instagram account is @KidsLiveToGive

Katie Utterback:

Oh wow. I don't think we can call these little deeds. You guys, these are huge.

Felipe Arevalo:

You've gone past the, you've come a long way from the great thing of buying someone dinner, which to that person is a , it was probably a , a huge deed , but you guys have taken that and grown it exponentially since then.

Olivia West:

And we are so grateful we could not do the work that we do without , um, volunteers , um, who rally , uh , alongside of us. Um, and we are in 2020. We are starting to look for , um, corporate corporations who would like to partner with us because we realize that we can have even larger impact if we , um, this year we were able to take 30 foster kids to Disney, but if we had corporate sponsors, we could take 60 or a hundred, you know? And so we realized that we're just one family and there's only so many garage sales and car wash tickets that these kids could sell and Krispy Kreme doughnut tickets that they sell to fundraise and coin drives and things of that nature. But , um, we realize that , um, when people rally alongside of us , um , we can have our bigger impact together as a community.

Katie Utterback:

That's beautifully said. I don't think I can add anything on to that. Um , Felipe?

Felipe Arevalo:

no, I mean I'm just in awe of what you guys have accomplished and then, you know, you continue to strive to make that even bigger impact, which is , uh, you know, kudos to you guys, you know, keep up the good work. Whatever you guys are doing, you're doing a great job.

West Family:

Thanks so much . Thank you so much.

Felipe Arevalo:

You're very welcome. See, that's why I want to buy the book. I got to get my kid reading it and he's got, he's a little younger than you guys. He's six, so he's got some catch up to do.

Olivia West:

And tell him it , you know, rather it is, you know, him , um , packing a lunch , um, and taking it with you when you drive somewhere where you may encounter a homeless person or making a blessing bag that is filled with toiletries for homeless people. Um, every little thing counts. And so never underestimate the power that your child can have. Um, when we first started this journey, our kids used to call us dream crushers when they did their Ted talk. Um, my husband and I, we were going in there talk, but , um, we realized that kids do have a voice and they too , um, you know, can have an impact just that their young age, whether it's six, eight or 10.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. And then I've watched your Ted talk. That was very impressive. Um, so I just, let's end it this way then. Do you guys have any advice or anything that you'd want to share with the world if this, this is your mic, your open mic.

Jeremiah West:

Um, well, it was just like to let kids know that , um, they can do anything no matter what people tell them, no matter what background they come from no matter what their current situation is. And that even if people tell them that they can't do something, that , um , they can do it with hard work. And , um, if you have someone supporting you, like we have our wonderful mom here who's helped us a lot during this journey and my dad , um, if you have someone like that behind you and even if you don't, you can still accomplish your goals.

Joshua West:

The kids have the power to be great no matter what happens, they can always be great.

Katie Utterback:

I love it.

Felipe Arevalo:

Perfect.

Katie Utterback:

Well thank you guys so much for your time. We really appreciate it. Um, this is all that we had thought to ask you guys, but um, we love to have you back on our show maybe next season.

Felipe Arevalo:

Um , see what you guys have been able to accomplish in the meantime. That would be awesome. Yeah, we can continue to hear what you guys are doing.

Katie Utterback:

and inspiration.

Joshua West:

come back to your show.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Perfect. Well we're going to let you guys go. Thank you so much for your time and uh , we'll make sure that when this episode publishes we'll share it with you guys.

Olivia West:

Okay. Thank you so much ms Katie. We really appreciate the opportunity.

West Family:

Thank you ms Katie.

Katie Utterback:

Thank you guys.

Chase Peckham:

And now for a little follow up with myself, Phil and Katie.

Felipe Arevalo:

After they said that, I was like, Oh, we don't intimidate them in the least.

Katie Utterback:

Have you bought the book?

Felipe Arevalo:

I haven't, but it is in my Amazon cart. Okay. Yeah. I'm waiting to get, I try not to have that parade of Amazon boxes. So some when it's not urgent, I just put it in the cart and then when I get a few things in the cart, then I,

Katie Utterback:

that's a good step for the environment. Yeah. And you were saying though that your plan is to read this with Barrington, right ?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. Oh , well we'll make him read it to me. His teacher said it's time for him to read to me. Uh , but yeah. You know, just to kind of expose them to the idea of philanthropy more and, and the idea of, look at these little kids are not that much older than you and look at the difference that they're making. And look how it started. It really started with buying a homeless man, man. A meal. Yeah. And how that little act has now, and they've, through their efforts, has grown to such a awesome accomplishments that they've done for so many people throughout the country.

Chase Peckham:

I would love to know the science behind it, but I would imagine being a parent and watching how kids react to certain things, that the pure joy that they felt about helping another person who they don't know whether they're less fortunate or not, but they've, they can probably take a look and go, that's probably not the best situation or the situation we'd want to be in. But the whole, the idea of just feeling so good would be overwhelming to them and they want that feeling again. Um, and to put that in such a great way to look at helping fellow man, you know, as the Bible says, you know, love thy neighbor , um, reach out and help and your society, that's an important concept, I think for kids to learn. And it's inspirational. I wish, you know, my kids have that. But then you got to think that most think about how big the world is to kids. And I know me growing up, we were in our little bubble. We only know what we know. You know, we just see what we see. We go to school every day , we come home. Our whole life is our mom and our dad and we only know it from the perspective of where we are. And I guess technology helps a bit these days because we do know so much more or have so much, so much more access to that information, but for them to act on it at such a young age and want to, I mean that's, that's something, I mean that that says something about their parents.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. I mean these parents are, I'm learning from them. I think that's a great way. I mean they were talking about if you get a $10 bill, you should look at $1 should be given to somebody else, $1 should go toward savings and then eight is for you to use however you want. But just looking at money from such a young age where not all of it is spend money like just from a young age to know that some of it has to go away to savings and that some of it should go to help other people I think is an incredible lesson right there.

Chase Peckham:

And to get to understand money doesn't just go buy things that we want and enjoy. Right. They get the understanding that that money that they give, that person could be a meal. Oh yeah, literally food. They literally, cause a lot of kids just take for granted, it shows up because, you know, we wake up in the morning and mom and dad after the fridge for most of them. Um, you know, there's a lot of kids that don't, but I mean in this situation that's not what we're talking about. But for them to be able to help those kids that don't get to wake up in the morning and have a meal every day and have that understanding that the money that we give or the things that we give, it takes money to give things. If it's blankets, if it's fresh water , if it's whatever it might be a that's, they get the idea of the value and the power that the Oh mighty dollar dollar dollar has.

Katie Utterback:

Well I think even beyond that too , they're giving people experiences and that memory lasts so much longer than any sort of material item.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Oh, that's for sure.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. The thing with, with Jordan and experiences over things, yeah. That's your guys motto, right? Yeah. The like the thing with Jordan where she went to a friend's birthday party and they did like a princess thing and just to have the thought, Oh wow, I should do this for other people because you know, there's some people who don't get to experience this and they're going to the extent of, you know, bringing 30 , uh, foster youth was a foster youth. Yeah. 30 foster girls and their parents to Disneyworld so that they could go to the, I'm gonna mess this up. Bippity boppity boutique. Yup . And be a Princess for the day.

Chase Peckham:

That is.

Felipe Arevalo:

Disney plus. I watch a lot of Disney.

Chase Peckham:

who comes up with that idea.

Katie Utterback:

Jordan.

Felipe Arevalo:

A 10 year old.

Chase Peckham:

that's what I'm saying.

Felipe Arevalo:

I know exactly.

Chase Peckham:

Maybe that's,

Katie Utterback:

and she was younger. She was younger than 10 when she came up with this idea. That book has been out for a little bit.

Chase Peckham:

That is, it's inspiring as all get out. And I, I am going to get this book for my kids and they're going to read it. And the idea - my wife and I talk about this all the time. We'll drive them down to different parts of our city. Just show them areas that, look, it , not everybody has this life that you do. Not everybody is as lucky to have been born to the parents that you were , um, and , and in the be in the situation that you're in and that, but yet they're no less human than we are than you are. They're just not as fortunate. And that doesn't mean that they're going to be there forever, but it takes a helping hand to help motivate, lift , give people a chance to live to the degree that, to fulfill what they can do.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah.

Chase Peckham:

I think, and we talked about that with, with Howard just the other day. He runs into that same thing.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

But from a perspective of a child, they must, let me ask you guys, do you feel like that they get excitement of trying to one up everything they do,

Katie Utterback:

definitely.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Like, okay, we did this idea. Where can we do now what? Yeah. Great . Thanks. So really cool though.

Katie Utterback:

We briefly talked about this, but Jeremiah and Joshua, they even had a Ted talk. They have a . Yeah. They've done a Ted talk on the champions of change and being change agents and the importance of giving back and they're just very impressive people. And so I do think they are trying to one up themselves and see like, okay, we did this, now what can we do? And their , I think their mom even mentioned that too. She's like, they used to call us dream crushers.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Dream crushers.

Felipe Arevalo:

The parents,

Katie Utterback:

they would call them.

Felipe Arevalo:

sometimes their idea, which is way too grand where the parents would have to say like, Whoa , Whoa, let's do something a little baby steps right. And in their head they, you know, like, Whoa, we're going to do this, this and this. And like, well let's start with just one. So that's what they used to call it . I thought it was funny, but,

Chase Peckham:

and so do they, and they , they raised money, they raise the funds to this. This isn't all coming out of the pockets of the parents. Right?

Katie Utterback:

Right. They work their heinies off and she, they were briefly telling us during the interview, you know, everything that they do to try to raise money from like they have a bunch of different fundraisers , fundraisers to actually doing work. It sounds like. It almost sounds like they have car washes. Um , so they are, it's not like they are just trying to use their passive income to give back. This is not coming out of excess. They are working really hard, hustling really hard. Um, and it's not to benefit themselves. It's to benefit the world, to give back and inspire other kids to join them too, to become a change agent.

Chase Peckham:

It seems like they're focusing in on lots of different areas too . Right . It's not just kind of one specific area that they're championing.

Katie Utterback:

No. Yeah.

Felipe Arevalo:

To help someone out whenever they see a need for it. Like the Flint water crisis, they learned about it and they said, Oh, let's do something about it. They gathered a bunch of water and got it. You know, partnered up with someone, had it shipped , shipped, trucked over to Michigan.

Katie Utterback:

One of the biggest takeaways I took from talking to them is that if you're passionate about something, it's just going to make it so much easier to persevere and push through all of that hard work. And these kids genuinely care about other people, which is why it seems like they have no issue working so hard on all these fundraising efforts because it means the world to them.

Chase Peckham:

and that's gonna benefit them in their life going forward is the , I'm guessing that there's a pretty good chance that they're going to do something in their lives career wise that help other people. Maybe philanthropy will be something that they will start their own foundation, whatever it might be , uh, to do something and have a family and raise their money. And raised, you know, their children and all that stuff. I would imagine too that the idea of being able to do something for a living that also gives back to your fellow man to society will just drive them going forward it gives them something to look forward to, to do. Where so many kids are just aimless. They don't, I don't want to say aimless, they just, it's one thing to another. It's I go to high school, I try to figure out what I want, where I want to go to college or I want it , you know what I want to study and then I go to college and then I, I graduate and I try to figure out what I'm going to do, where these kids are going to be driven to do all of this during that entire path.

Katie Utterback:

Well, so let me ask you guys this. I was, I was reading an article in Forbes and it was saying that it's really important to get your kid involved in a side hustle so that they can start to figure out what they're passionate about, where their skill set kind of lies. Is that something that you would do with your kids? Would you encourage them to follow a passion and create a side hustle out of it?

Chase Peckham:

Absolutely.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. I think so.

Chase Peckham:

100%. You know, it's , it's interesting right now between school and even all the sports that they play in, you know, their time is, it , it's, it's this interesting dilemma that we as parents run into, at least in , in our area, at least in, in our life, what our life is. You know , our kids go to school, there is an abundant amount of homework that needs to be done. There's so many hours in the day, Carrie and I have to work. So there's, you know, we're , we don't get to be with them right after school gets out. Um, and then when we get home, there's soccer practice and there's baseball practice and there's soccer games and there's, you know, so on and so forth. And so they're , they're , they've got a lot going on. So it's that question of, do you want to entertain adding something else or do we step back for a little while? And then when you're not playing baseball for three months, four months, whatever it might be, fill that with something else. And I think that yes, that is the way we should go. I don't know if I want my child to just - now they're not doing that at night . So they're going to sit and play video games every day. And that's how they fill that space. I think that the idea of giving them something to be passionate about and want to work towards, whether it's philanthropy, whether it's doing a lemonade stand, whatever it might be, aim high kiddo. Um, yeah .

Katie Utterback:

Did you guys have lemonade stands growing up ?

Chase Peckham:

I did.

Felipe Arevalo:

I did not. Yeah, I did try selling lemons .

Chase Peckham:

Really?

Felipe Arevalo:

Not make lemonade. I just sold lemons.

Chase Peckham:

Is country time lemonade still out there?

Felipe Arevalo:

I think. Yeah . But at the Costco, the business Costco,

Chase Peckham:

we would, we would get that and we would just make a big jar of it and we would charge like a nickel and I think we'd make a dollar 50. But that was awesome cause that was a two candy bars. So my kids are a little bit older than that now, but in with my brother-in-law's, a very much an entrepreneur and was at a very early age too, and my son sees that and loves to emulate his uncle Mikey. So he would get into the world of what can I buy and what can I resell on eBay to make money? Yeah. He looks at that kind of stuff. What can we fix up and resell? And , uh, if he's got old baseball equipment, can we refurbish it? Can we, and he does that same thing where we give back baseball equipment to kids that can't afford it. Um , and we donate that stuff and he's really adamant about taking care of his things, even though he doesn't have them , uh, use them anymore , uh, so that they can be given to somebody who can use them. Uh, so that, that is a pretty cool thing. But yeah, I think that that's,

Katie Utterback:

well, that's amazing in itself, knowing that like, I'm not going to be able to use this equipment forever. Yeah. And instead of just dropping it in the mud or just leaving it in the trash, yeah.

Chase Peckham:

It's a perfectly good baseball helmet that doesn't fit him anymore and now that can be passed on. He just grown out of so many bats that he has , uh, that, that can be given to somebody. So it goes to good use.

Felipe Arevalo:

Well, there's ways he , he, I believe he gives back that, you know, he loves baseball being an umpire . Yeah. Volunteering to be an umpire, volunteering around keeps score for the younger kids, things like that where you know, a kid can volunteer and give back doing the things that they already liked doing.

Chase Peckham:

He really likes doing it and yet he, you know, they can't play a baseball game without empire. So yeah. I mean , he likes it . It's great if you can find something that you love to do and you're doing a lot of good at the same time.

Katie Utterback:

Well and there doesn't have to be money exchanged either, is what it sounded like to me. Especially if you're volunteering to be an umpire . Yeah. You're giving back that time and they don't, it seems like a lot of city park and rec kind of sports team wouldn't exist without volunteers.

Chase Peckham:

Absolutely. We are literally could not afford and where we're in a relatively affluent area, but we could not afford our little league, could not afford to have paid umpires every because I mean there's so many games, it's overwhelming. And not only that, you're teaching kids responsibility, show up to the game on time. You're going to have to pay attention the entire time. You understand the rules, know where you gotta be. They get a better understanding of how the baseball game, how a game works from a different viewpoint than just being a player. Uh, and that, you know, I've really seen how much my son understands the game so much better than he did when he was just a player who was catching, cause that was kinda his, that was his thing. You know, cause I played third base, first base, whatever might be , but there's a lot more to the game than just throwing a ball and catching a ball and all those rules. It's really made him a better all around player cause he understands better. Uh, and then all along, you know, the young, he gets a kick out of watching the little kids try to hit a ball and try to catch a ball and all those kinds of things. And so, yeah, I think it's, it brings a smile to my face. I like watching it. My wife's like, why would you want to watch him umpire? I don't man, you have no idea how fun the sport. Yeah.

Felipe Arevalo:

So it makes it easier to like, I can remember doing a, I did a couple of seasons when I was younger of the line referees in soccer. Oh yeah, yeah . Like offsides and all that. And it's kinda cool. You run around and you lift your flag up and , um, and it's, it's , uh , it doesn't even feel like you're, you're really giving back your time . It's, I mean, if you liked the sport, you're probably, I mean, there's a chance you might be at home watching it on TV. Instead you get to watch it with little kids and be part of it. Um, so, you know, it's a way of giving back without having to spend funds. You spend your time outdoors doing something you already liked doing, watching basketball, baseball, soccer, whatever it is.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. I think that's important. I really do. This is just seeing what these kids, it just shows you that anybody can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Especially in this day and age. I mean when you can have a voice, everybody can have a voice, good or bad, but the idea that these kids understand the idea of money and how it can have an effect on others is unbelievable to me and especially being that their kids, so many more people are going to , I would imagine, follow them and want to give to them and corporate entities and those kinds of things are going to want to jump on board because look at what these kids are doing.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. Well and sometimes the most profitable idea comes from the simplest idea to like Jordan just going to a birthday party and thinking, Hey, every girl should be able to feel like a princess for a day. It's become a huge thing.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, that sounds so very Ellen.

Katie Utterback:

what Jordan?

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Like when I watched the Ellen show, I mean, she's so inspirational and I love , you know, you can cry every time you watch that show for what she does for people. And then there's this little girl that comes up with that all on her own. And yet it sounds so very Ellen to me. And that's not that I'm saying that's a good thing.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. I didn't take it as a bad thing.

Chase Peckham:

I think that's very, very cool. I hope we can get so entangled us as parents, us as humans entangled into our daily routines and in what we consider a good week or a bad week. And yet if you take a step back and you find yourself complaining that God, I'm having a really hard week. I guess if you compare it,

Felipe Arevalo:

you're, you're probably not.

Chase Peckham:

You're not. Yeah, you're really not. And if , and I've believe that wholeheartedly, that if, if you're down or if you're, you're having a tough time or life's not going the way you want, you can flip the mentality of finding what is good and then reach for that. Good. And I think that these kids getting that, because for sure these kids are getting a lot out of this. If these other people are getting a ton, but they themselves as human beings are getting a ton out of this. Learning selflessness, learning to love thy neighbor, learning to help others and the feelings of warmth that they get from that is, I think that's what kids need to experience. And if they can at that age, how much better are human beings as they grow up? Are they going to be.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. And they're also learning adversity because as much as you know, we're sitting here just basking and how awesome they are and all of the amazing accomplishments that they've had. I'm sure that they've had people say no to them before when asking for a donation. Sure. Which that's a hard skill to learn, but.

Chase Peckham:

Work in nonprofit long enough, you really get used to it.

Katie Utterback:

or try being a journalist to write.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Um, thick skin.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. I mean, but it takes time to build that up and you to separate it from being a personal thing. It takes time. So to learn that skill early on, I think is incredible too.

Chase Peckham:

It really is. I , I, I hope there are many people that hear this and get inspired by it because the more people that do these kinds of acts, the better world we're going to be in and we need this kind of, we need this kind of news. We need these kinds of stories. It may not sell as much, but sure is way more fun. Way more fun cover and to just listen 100% there's so much good going on in this world and we just don't hear about it because it's not as new for .