My name is Seri Roth and I’m the Co-founder of A Dollar Campaign, a charity that funds research for pediatric cancer. I founded A Dollar Campaign in 2012 when I was 14 years old, while attending high school. Starting a charity at such a young age had its challenges, and also its benefits. Today I will be talking about why I started A Dollar Campaign, what we are all about, and who we hope to inspire.
Everyone’s journey starts somewhere, and mine started with a book. I was 12 years old and I read a very moving book that was written by two parents who had lost their six year old daughter to a brain tumor. Little did I know that this book would be a life changer for me. Life is funny like that- you never know what might inspire the path of your life. For me, it was a book that I had randomly decided to pick up at Barnes and Noble. After reading it, I did an enormous amount of research on pediatric cancer. The statistics shocked me, and I thought to myself: how can I just sit here and do nothing while so many kids are experiencing the nightmare of fighting for their lives? I emailed the parents of the young girl who had passed away from the brain tumor, and I made them a promise; that in my lifetime I will do something to help kids with cancer. I didn’t know what that “something” would be, but I knew it would be something!
Two years later, I was a sophomore in high school. As I was going to sleep one night, I had this thought: “What if every person in the world donated just $1 to pediatric cancer research?” What if the world came together and said “We are going to find the cure to all pediatric cancers once and for all!”
I have always believed in being a doer. What I mean by this is that acting on my ideas is as important as the ideas themselves. The next day I created a website, and began educating myself on how to run a charity.
The response was overwhelming. Donations starting pouring in, and we were getting support from all around the world. We started receiving emails from young kids who wanted to act upon their passions and ideas but didn’t know how to take the first steps. We started hearing from people that A Dollar Campaign had inspired them to start their own projects. This reaction inspired our message, which is to inspire doers, thinkers, and givers.
We want to inspire people of all ages to be be doers. If you have an idea, don’t just think about it, DO it. Turn your dreams into reality, and your ideas into realistic goals. We also want to inspire thinkers. Be intentional with your thoughts. Educate yourself on things that matter, and know what’s going on in the world. Give yourself the gift of knowledge. Finally, we hope to inspire givers. Where would the world be without givers? And imagine where the world could be if every person was a giver. Create more moments of humanity, and be a light in this sometimes dark world.
How do we go about our mission and our message? Every donation is spent on research, state of the art equipment/instruments and parent/patient care. We list the hospitals we support on our website. We are also very excited to start sending gift baskets to our true heroes, the kids who are fighting for their lives. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we can send personalized gift baskets to our little heroes based on their unique interests.
Everything we do at A Dollar Campaign, every decision we make, we hope to reflect our message. We are also very excited to announce our digital magazine that will be launching in the Fall. The magazine will reflect our message, and feature doers, thinkers, and givers.
I have been incredibly blessed to have never experienced a close friend or family member endure pediatric cancer. But I have always been a firm believer that you don’t need to be directly affected by something to want to change it.