A child’s smile can light up any room, but it may be harder to find smiling young faces in a children’s hospital.
Martand Bhagavatula, 12, of Yorba Linda, California, was determined to do something about that.
“I was playing violin for youth group at a pediatric hospital," he said. "And what I'd noticed is that most of these kids didn't have anything in their rooms.”
He was only 8 years old that the time, but it made such an impression on him that he founded Kids and Smiles.
According to the website, Kids and Smiles is a nonprofit whose mission is to bring smiles to hospitalized children by delivering toys, cards, and other prepared crafts to them.
In just three years, Martand’s organization has organized numerous social activities and donated nearly 1,000 toys to hospitals in the Los Angeles area.
Conner Guinn, a patient at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in Loma Linda, California, appreciates Martand’s efforts.
“I think it is wonderful how people could be so kind in this world,” Conner said.
The satisfaction goes both ways.
“For them to just see that all -- it just really, you know, makes me feel good,” Martand said.
Martand was featured on "Good Morning America" during Disney-ABC’s “Summer of Creativity” campaign, which encourages youth to harness the power of creativity and service to change the world. Disney-ABC will award $500 Summer of Creativity Grants to young leaders who are taking action and caring for the world we share. Youth, ages 5-18, are encouraged to apply before August 10. Hundreds of grants are being awarded. Learn more at ABC.com/BeInspired.