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Hero Spotlight: A child reminds CALICO that anyone can help keep children safe and healthy

At CALICO’s 11th Annual One Child at a Time Benefit in September, one extraordinary boy stood out: eight-year-old Pranav. Pranav is in the third grade and is not a newcomer to the event. “It’s a pleasure to come to CALICO for two years, and I would love to come next year too. The music and everything, I appreciate it,” says Pranav.

Much like the other children enjoying the event, Pranav spent his day playing carnival games, taking pictures in the photobooth, joking with friends and enjoying delicious sliders. Then he took a quick break from basketball to go to the cashier table. As he approached, he reached into his pocket and pulled out two crumpled one-dollar bills and handed them to Catherine, a CALICO interviewer staffing the booth. Pranav told her he wanted to make his own donation to help CALICO. Catherine was so moved by his gesture that she immediately introduced Pranav to CALICO’s Executive Director, Victoria Gwiasda, and Board President, Amy Blanchard, and shared with them what an amazing thing Pranav had done. When they asked Pranav why he chose to donate, he simply said, “I wanted to thank CALICO for all the work.”

Pranav’s generosity is one of many examples of children helping children at CALICO. Earlier this year, a Girl Scout troop dropped off hand-made blankets, which are given to every child interviewed at CALICO. An Eagle Scout built the planters outside CALICO’s main office, which help make the building look homey and inviting to potentially nervous children. At events, teenagers regularly volunteer to sell raffle tickets and staff game booths, helping to raise money for CALICO services. We are grateful to all of the youth who have reached out to lend their support to CALICO and are uplifted and inspired by each one.

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