Resilient Founder. Class of 2020.

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Kayla Abramowitz is the Founder and “Chief Kid Officer” of Kayla Cares 4 Kids. You might recognize Kayla as a previous guest on Joan Garry’s Nonprofits Are Messy podcast or maybe you’ve seen her on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt’s “Inspiring America” segment.

Kayla is an amazing and resilient young woman. Drawing on her childhood experience with multiple chronic illnesses, she has created something really special for children who spend a lot of time at hospitals and families who stay at Ronald McDonald Houses® throughout the United States, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Enter Covid-19. 💦✋🧼🤚🧡🧻🤦‍♀️

Kayla is nearing the end of her senior year in high school, and like the rest of us, she is sheltering at home. Honor Guard? Canceled. Awards Celebrations? Canceled. Prom? Virtual. Graduation ceremony? No idea.

What about her nonprofit work? Is that canceled, too?

No way! Kayla Cares 4 Kids, under Kayla’s impressive leadership, is continuing to educate and entertain children in spite of COVID-19. Rather than pause her work with children in hospitals during the pandemic crisis and “shelter-at-home” restrictions, Kayla figured out a way to move her mission forward in the midst of a global pandemic. Since she can’t visit the kids in person, she’s scheduled two times per week to go “live” on social media.

Kayla is providing live entertainment, demonstrating a simple craft, reading a children’s book, and most importantly, sharing her infectious smile and positive energy. Her nimbleness in this time of crisis is inspiring. The children and families she serves feel seen, understood, and valued.

Kayla’s post-graduation plans include college and continuing to grow the impact of Kayla Cares 4 Kids.

📌 Check out our Pinterest Board for ideas for entertaining children in hospitals

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🔗 Connect with Kayla on LinkedIn

Kayla Abramowitz, 18, is the Founder and Chief Kid Officer (CKO) of Kayla Cares 4 Kids, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that collects and donates entertainment and educational items to children’s hospitals nationwide. Kayla Cares 4 Kids “helps sick kids feel better one smile at a time.”

Kayla came up with the idea at age 11, after noticing a limited DVD selection during many hospital visits, due to Crohn’s Disease, Eosinophilic Colitis and Juvenile Arthritis. Kayla’s youngest brother has also been hospitalized many times for Juvenile Arthritis and Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

What began in 2013 as a grassroots collection of 100 DVDs for a Miami hospital has blossomed into a national enterprise, with more than 25,000 DVDs, books, video games, game consoles and electronics donated to nearly 450 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in all 50 states.

Kayla oversees 11 Ambassadors across nine states—and hundreds of student volunteers locally—while also serving on her organization’s Board of Directors.
For her efforts, Kayla has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt’s “Inspiring America”, “Time for Kids” magazine and on by Chelsea Clinton. Kayla has also received eight national awards, including the Christopher Reeve Service Award and Office Depot Foundation’s Youth Award.

Kayla was one of 10 national “Prudential Spirit of Community Award” winners; one of 14 “Diller Teen Award” winners in 2016; and named “National Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Young Entrepreneurs Academy in 2015. Not only is Kayla passionate about her nonprofit organization, she is a fervent advocate of health issues. She enjoys meeting with legislators as a representative of the Arthritis Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and National Organization of Rare Diseases, to help educate lawmakers about medical issues and relevant bills. 

Kayla enjoys playing baritone in her high school band and computer programming. She is a Girls Who Code alumni; member of Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, where she is working on getting her Gold Award; and a tax intern at Florida Power & Light.  

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