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16-year-old Carrie clicks for a cause

Teens and technology – these days, the two go hand in hand.  Carrie Ingerman knows from experience that the web can help keep us in touch with loved ones, and she’s used that knowledge to help teens get through tough times.  This 16-year-old from Baton Rouge, La., started Cliks4Kidz, an organization that donates laptops to children in cancer treatment so they can stay connected with their friend, family, and teachers.


We caught up with Carrie to talk about Cliks4Kidz, her inspiration, and how you can help... 

GL:  How did Cliks4Kidz get started?

Carrie:  When my grandmother, who lives halfway across the country, was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt hopeless.  The only thing that helped me know that she was doing okay was talking to her via webcam.  This later provided me with the idea for Cliks4Kidz.  During a conversation with my mother, we discussed my reliance on technology.  Our discussion turned to how isolated children receiving cancer treatment are and Cliks4Kidz was born.


GL:  What have you accomplished so far?

Carrie:  So far, I have donated 17 laptops – 10 to the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and 7 to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.  Additionally, I have collected more than 200 pounds of electronic waste, 5,000 aluminum tabs, and raised more than $10,000.  


GL:  What are your hopes for Cliks4Kidz in the future?

Carrie:  I hope to expand my efforts to include donations to all hospitalized children. 


GL:  What have you learned from your volunteer work?

Carrie:  One of the most important lessons that I have learned has been that it is better to give than receive.  In addition, I have learned that something as small as a laptop can make a huge impact. 


GL:  Who or what inspires you?

Carrie:  The smiles and tears of the children that have been able to use the laptops we have donated.


GL:  What advice do you have for girls who want to help others?

Carrie:  One thing that I have realized through my experiences with Cliks4Kidz is that kids can and DO make a difference.  From picking up trash to building wells to collecting clean water in India, you can make a difference.  If you have an idea, don’t let it go to waste because you think you are too young to do anything about it.  It is imperative that you take action to help your community because you are the future. 


GL:  Can others get involved with Cliks4Kidz?  If so, how?

Carrie: Cliks4Kidz accepts donations on the web at www.cliks4kidz.org. Anyone who is interested in getting involved with Cliks4Kidz is more than welcome. Cliks4Kidz can be supported through purchases made through OneCause.  Additionally, proceeds from collected electronic waste or aluminum tabs can be donated to purchase laptops. For more information on getting involved with Cliks4Kidz, check out our website at www.cliks4kidz.org or email us at info@cliks4kidz.org.


For more information about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and how to apply, click here.

BY MARIE HANSEN ON 8/21/2011 12:00:00 AM


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