Do Something

Kids, Origami, & Ethiopia

by: stacie kopczynski
January 11, 2012


“Kids have so little sense of ‘personal power’. It is important for them to realize they can make a difference no matter how old they are.” This comes from a mom whose two little girls are setting a high bar for advocates of the water crisis.

Isabelle (8) and Katherine (5) Adams have currently raised $9,200 for clean water and have no plans to stop there. For as young as they are, these two little girls have a passion to help and a vision for the world water crisis that is more focused and awe-inspiring than many twice their age – combined!

This fall, Isabelle and Katherine decided they wanted to do something to raise money for water; they didn’t know exactly how they were going to do it, but they were positive they could succeed. In fact, as Isabelle says, “Any kid could do this!”

Their father, Dr. Ken Adams, is half Japanese and grew up making origami. Naturally, he spent time teaching his girls (specifically, Katherine learned while waiting in car pool lines on her way to school!), so together the family dreamed up the idea of making origami Christmas ornaments to sell to family and friends as a way to raise money for Living Water International's work in Ethiopia.

Deborah Adams, the girls’ mom, is insistent that their success “didn’t happen because of just us. A lot of people supported this.” The buzz over the unique ornaments started after the family hosted a fundraising party to sell the origami; the ornaments were instantly a hit and they sold all but two! After the party, orders kept coming in. Despite wondering whether they could actually fulfill all the orders, the girls kept at it. They’d sit for sometimes hours a day, folding paper into what would hopefully become beautiful reminders during Christmas of the hearts these young girls have for helping kids just like them all over the world.

At their family gathering over Thanksgiving, they even recruited their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents to help. A huge assembly line soon formed; the help a welcome encouragement to Isabelle and Katherine. Along with the help of family, Deborah said that Living Water videos often served as impactful encouragement for the girls and a way to make the water crisis that often seems so far away actually seem real.

The girls continued to make ornaments throughout the Christmas season and even sold them at a local coffee shop that supported their efforts. In the end, Isabelle and Katherine Adams raised $9,200 and even got a matching donor to double the gift! The money raised is absolutely fantastic, but the message they’re sending is even better: kids can make a difference and they do care about the world around them – give them the opportunity and you just never know what they’ll accomplish!


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