Today’s Brilliance from Sondra Clark

I’m a young woman who loves my yellow VW Bug, is excited about being in college and has a perpetually messy room. Basically I’m a typical teenager with one difference. I’ve found that it’s important to share what I have with people in need.

Since I was 8, I’ve had seven books published with major publishers and traveled around the world, encouraging people to volunteer. My latest book gives step-by-step directions on how kids can participate in 77 volunteer projects. It’s so important that kids and adults look beyond themselves and try to help other people, animals or the environment.

I’ve been fortunate to visit Kenya, Uganda, Peru and Mexico, helping people who need basic education, healthcare and school supplies. Yes, even teenagers can raise money to send a child to school or collect shoes for people in developing countries.

Speaking of shoes… I’m a spokesperson for Soles4Souls, a non-profit agency that collects and distributes shoes to people in need around the world. Last year I organized an all-city shoe drive. In one day, I collected over 5,000 pairs of shoes!

We went to Guatemala and gave kids in rural villages new shoes. Many of the kids had no shoes at all to protect their feet from cuts and infections. I know not everyone can personally deliver shoes, but everyone can do something as simple as having a shoe drive and shipping the shoes to one of Soles4Souls’s warehouses.

Even with the tight economy, people can still reach out and help other people, animals or the environment. It costs nothing to collect newspapers for the puppy pens at your local Humane Society. Kids can even collect old cell phones which are refurbished and given to women who are living in abusive situations. The women then have a free cell phone to call 911.

Yes, it’s fun to get recognition for writing books and be picked up in limos for a TV show interview. But it’s even more fun (and rewarding!) to collect books to give to an inner school or decorate a bulletin board at a senior center. Reaching out to help others is what makes life meaningful.

Sondra Clark

Sondra is the author of 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve (Wesleyan Publishing 2008), Snap 2 It! (Sourcebooks 2007), and Cool Careers in Parks and Recreation (Hara Publishing 2003).

Sondra has appeared many times on various television and radio programs, including:

  • 16 city satellite media tour for Junior Achievement
  • QVC (3 times)
  • CNN
  • Lou Dobbs
  • Tonight show
  • Home Matters
  • Discovery Channel (4 times)
  • Deborah Durham Crafts
  • Hour of Power (broadcast to 20 million people)
  • FOX
  • Donny and Marie Show
  • 700 Club (2 times)
  • PAX TV
  • Great Day America
  • Smart Solutions
  • Crook and Chas
  • And over 35 other television shows

She's had many speaking engagements, including:

  • Keynote, Florida State 4-H Conference
  • Winner of Youth Speaking Contest, National Speakers Association
  • Presentations to 65 churches across the country (totaling 25,000 people)
  • 25 presentations to Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis and other service groups
  • 15 presentations to school assemblies
  • Spoke to youth groups in Ramstein, Germany
  • Keynote to National Recreation and Park Association

Among the major awards Sondra has received are:

  • Youngest Olympic Torchbearer, 2002 Olympics
  • Next Step Super Teen 2007 Winner
  • Huggable Heroes (Build A Bear National Winner 2007)
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Bronze (High School) (Twice)
  • Prudential Spirit of Community State Winner (Middle School)
  • Angels in Action Winner
  • Nestle Very Best in Youth Winner
  • Weekly Reader Award, 2003 Presented to Oprah Winfrey and Sondra (The award went to Laura Bush in 2002)
  • Tennessee Titans Jr. Quarterback Volunteer Award
  • Fox TV National Kids Hero Award
  • Daily Points of Light Winner

She's served as a spokesperson for three companies, Soles4souls from 2007-present, Childcare Worldwide since 2003 to present, and S&S Worldwide (craft company) from 2002-2005.

Lastly, Sondra has been featured in the following publications:

  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Michael’s Creates
  • Chicago Times
  • Justine Magazine
  • Career World
  • New York Times
  • Upfront
  • Teen People
  • Mary Kate and Ashley Magazine
  • San Diego Union
  • Girl’s Life
  • Focus on the Family Publications
  • and over 50 others

For more information, please visit .

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