Kayla Abramowitz has brought joy to hospitalized children in all 50 states by collecting and delivering 10,000 DVDS, books and other items to them.
The 14-year-old from North Palm Beach has earned countless accolades for her efforts and added another this week when she was recognized as the national honoree of 2016 in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program at a ceremony Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank congratulated her on the honor during the ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, according to a news release. The eighth grade student at Watson B. Duncan Middle School was selected from more than 29,000 volunteers from across the country.
Through her nonprofit organization, Kayla Cares 4 Kids, she distributed the DVDs, books and items to 81 hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses, according to the news release. Her efforts were sparked by personal experience after a two-week hospital stay. Abramowitz, who has juvenile arthritis and Crohn’s disease, returned with old DVDs her family didn’t watch anymore that she wanted to donate.
“The hospital was so happy to receive just two DVDs from me,” Abramowitz said in the news release. “That’s when I realized I could do much more.”
She earned a personal award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for her school and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a nonprofit organization of her choosing, according to the news release.