Joshua first realized he wanted to make a difference when he was only four-and-a-half years old and, on his way home from church in Miami, Florida, noticed a homeless man who needed food. The incident, in which he gave the man $20 of his own spending money, sparked something in him to do even more. With the help and guidance of his mother, Claudia, Joshua eventually founded Joshua’s Heart, an organization committed to stomping out world hunger.
Today, 14-year-old Joshua has been helping to fight hunger as the president, founder and chief change-maker of his organization Joshua’s Heart for 10 years. “There is not a week that goes by that we don’t have a full schedule,” his mom, Claudia, said. “When we started, it was hard to take on in addition to a fulltime job, but it was very important to Joshua; he wanted to see every child have food, and we were always brought up to give back.” Said Claudia.
In addition to creating general awareness about the issue of hunger, Joshua’s Heart has several programs that help fight hunger, including: grocery distribution, cooking demonstrations, backpack programs for students and hope boxes for the homeless. To date they have distributed almost one million pounds of food to families and children in need.
“It’s about a community helping each other,” Joshua said. As one of the only organizations in South Florida that accepts volunteers as young as 18 months, Joshua’s Heart has helped to inspire over 2,200 youth to get involved. “I wanted to make a difference at a very young age and it was hard to find organizations that would accept me as a volunteer,” Joshua said. “So it was important for us to let anyone who wanted to volunteer be able to help out, regardless of age. I firmly believe, no matter how little you are you can do something that will help and help us complete our goal.”
“In the future, I hope to be working with more passionate kids and expand internationally,” said Joshua. “It’s important to never give up if you believe in changing something, be persistent and trust in it. No act of kindness is ever too small. You can change the world.“