Know a woman whos a philanthropy hero? Heres a great way to honor her.

SreyRam Kuy was 2 years old when the refugee camp where her family had been staying was bombed.

They had been fleeing the “Killing Fields” of the Cambodian genocide, merely to be attacked again.

During the bombing, both she and her mom were hit by shrapnel. She lost her ear in the explosion, and her mother’s wounds would’ve likely been fatal without proper medical attention, but thankfully, Red Cross doctors came to their aid, saving both SreyRam’s ear and her mom’s life.

Even though she doesn’t remember much of the experience, the story’s become an integral part of her family’s history. It’s also why SreyRam chose to dedicate her life to helping others as a doctor.

Dr. SreyRam Kuy. Photo via L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth .

Not merely did she become the first female Cambodian refugee to work as a surgeon in the United States, but she regularly performs free and low-cost surgeries for people in need. She also partners with Dog Tag Bakery — an organization that gives jobs and necessary work experience to disable veterans.

What’s more, as chief medical officer for the nation of Louisiana, she supervised the first state-led Zika prevention program for pregnant women in the United States.

SreyRam is just one of 10 extraordinary women who were chosen as L’Oreal Paris’ 2017 Women of Worth Honorees.

Since 2005, the brand has selected women who are making a major impact in their communities through their passion for volunteerism and philanthropy. Each Honoree receives a $10,000 grant for their charitable cause, as well as recognition of their work through L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth.

Other 2017 Women of Worth honorees. Photo via L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth .

Past Honorees have been everything from anti-bullying advocates to supporters of victims of human trafficking to self-defense trainers . It genuinely doesn’t matter what kind of charitable work you do, just as long as it’s making a positive impact on your community.

There are so many females out there who’re making a huge difference but aren’t get any recognition for it. This program is trying to change that.

Want to nominate someone to be a Woman of Worth? Here’s what you need to know:

Candidates must be women who are legal residents of the 50 United States and 16 years or older at the time of nomination. Their philanthropic work must also have occurred within the United States, and their participation needs to have been ongoing for at the least six months. If it’s filling a previously unmet need in an innovative route and making a significant difference in their community, it’s worthy.

It’s fine if the woman you have in intellect get paid for her work as long as she’s working for a nonprofit or a national service program like AmeriCorps. However, she should have a noticeable passion for what she does that’s inspiring others to follow suit.

Photo via iStock.

If you think you know someone who fits the bill, go to the Women of Worth site or click here to sign up and submit an application form. You can also submit the sort by sending it in the mail to 😛 TAGEND

“Women of Worth Award” c/ o The Phases of Light Institute

600 Means Street, Suite 210

Atlanta, GA 30318

If you think you’d make a great honoree yourself, you can absolutely hurl your name into the ring!

Whoever you decide to nominate, you better do it soon, because the submission period ends May 31, 2018.

Once all the nominees are submitted, the magistrates will constrict it down to a group of finalists.

That’s where the final 10 nominees are selected — and where you come back in .

In November, you can see the listing of 2018 Honorees online and vote on one to be named the Woman of Worth National Honoree. This woman will receive an additional $25,000 for her charity of option, along with national recognition for her cause . But every honoree will get an all-expense paid trip-up to New York City for the awards ceremony, where they’ll fulfill many notable women who are also working towards social good.

Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

It’s time the world acknowledges these unsung philanthropy superheroes, but it’s on you to stimulate that happen.

So what are you waiting for? Get nominating!

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This 18-year-old is showing kids how to save the world, one small project at a time.

When Lulu Cerone was growing up, their own families had a lemon tree in their backyard. So, naturally, she set up lots of lemonade stands.

At first, she and her friends would use the money to buy little pleasures, like toys or candy. But when Lulu turned seven, she decided to do something more significant. Instead of spending their lemonade money, Lulu and her friends gave it to a local puppy shelter, which upped the ante on their simple pastime in a big way.

“We realized that adding an element of social good to this social activity not only helped some dogs, it induced it route more fun and meaningful, ” writes Lulu in an email.

My first lemonade stand for charity. With Erin and Kaitlyn. MLK Day of Service 2009

Posted by Lemon: Aid Warriors on Thursday, July 4, 2013

But that was just the beginning.

Soon after, Lulu started researching other causes and stumbled upon Blood: Water — a nonprofit that seeks to end the HIV/ AIDS and water crisis in Africa. On their website, she learned that$ 1 can provide one person in Africa with clean water for an entire year.

“It never passed to me that people didn’t have access to water — a basic human need I entirely took for awarded, ” Lulu writes .

What hit her hardest was that girls her age had to walk miles only to get water that was dirty and might attain them sick while the boys went to school.

So Lulu’s lemonade stand profits started going toward clean water to people in Africa. Then, in 2010, the philanthropic game changed again.

When Haiti was struck by that devastating earthquake, Lulu and her friends decided to throw down a boys-versus-girls fundraising competition for Lulu’s entire fifth-grade class. The idea was so catchy, it grew to other nearby schools, and soon the latter are getting gifts from all over the city. After only 2 week, they had collected over $4,000.

The girls’ fundraising team. Photo by Renee Bowen.

The experience was so exciting and unifying, the children were chomping at the bit for more.

“This event showed us how empowering it was to realize that we already had the skills to create tangible good in the world, ” Lulu explains. “We didn’t have to wait till “were in” adults.”

And like that, her nonprofit, LemonAID Warriors, was born.

LemonAID Warriors provides teens and young adults with the tools they need to infuse social good efforts into their social lives.

Since there’s no famine of causes that need attention today, they’re constantly offering new and exciting ways to lend a hand . It all started with Lulu’s concept of a PhilanthroParty, which is essentially a social gathering centered around a social good theory.

One of Lulu’s( centre) PhilanthroParties. Photo by Renee Bowen.

The projects they supported in March 2018 include completing a dormitory at an orphanage in Tijuana and designing shirts for the March for Our Lives. Their ongoing work includes scholarships for children at a school in Zimbabwe and, of course, funding sustainable, clean water, hygiene, and sanitation projects with Blood: Water, which is now their partner.

What started out as a lemonade stand has grown into a wildly successful nonprofit that’s raised over $150,000 for people in need. And Lulu’s activism is the keystone of it all.

Lulu visiting a school in Uganda. Photo by Renee Bowen.

At age 13, she was sharing social good action plans with the heads of Mattel. Soon after, she flew to Uganda to visit some of the water projects the Warriors helped fund. At 15, she won a Nickelodeon Halo Award and wrote her first book, “PhilanthroParties! A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back.” Now, at 18, she’s one of L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth honorees .

There’s no telling what other amazing things this world’s going to see from Lulu Cerone.

But for Lulu, it all comes back to inspiring her peers and the next generation to take up the gauntlet of this grassroots-style activism.

“I feel we will be most effective if we are able to implement simple, realistic habits that induce social-good a routine in our lives, ” Lulu explains. “My grassroots method doesn’t incorporated into your busy life — it turns what’s already on your calendar into a chance to become an agent of change.”

Starting with small, manageable actions is how Lulu got to be where she is today. It’s these little, bold steps that lead to gigantic accomplishments. She also indicates looking to a mentor to help guide you. It’s about following good examples and then, when you feel like you have guidance of your own to offer, devoting back to those coming up behind you.

Speaking of which, Lulu’s 14 -year-old mentee, Madi Stein, is now the president of LemonAID Warriors. It just goes to show that “youve never” know where social good quests might lead you.

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Everyone has the power to be a social impact hero. Just ask these women.

We live in a world where more and more women are being encouraged to embrace their strengths every day — but it’s an uphill battle.

While the upcoming generation is already being touted as the generation that will “save the world, ” the young women in that group are still fighting to have their voices heard.

That said, all this social activism is empowering women in new and exciting ways. By standing on platforms for change that inspires them, whatever that may be, women’s voices are being raised to new heights, and, as a result, they’re reaching many more girls and women eager to pick up the torch.

L’Oreal Paris is amplifying these inspiring voices through their Women of Worth program .

Since 2005, L’Oreal Paris has been honoring girls making a significant impact in their communities through their passion for volunteerism and dedicating back to others.

Shandra Woworuntu. Photo via L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth .

Each year, L’Oreal Paris selects 10 Women of Worth Honorees to receive a $10,000 award in support of their charitable cause . Following a nationwide vote, Honoree Shandra Woworuntu was chosen as the 2017 National Honoree, and received an additional $25,000 award in support of her organization, Mentari . A survivor of human trafficking and domestic violence, Shandra founded Mentari, which is a nonprofit organization that assistances victims of human trafficking free of charge. Even though she’s simply one female, her efforts are making a monumental difference.

Here’s a look at three other women whose strengths made a huge impact in their own communities .

The 2017 Women of Worth. Photo via L’Oreal Paris/ Upworthy.

1. 19 -year-old Cassandra Lin started Project Turn Grease Into Fuel( TGIF ), which strives to get leftover grease converted into fuel for underserved families to heat their homes.

Growing up in Westerly, Rhode Island, during the 2008 recession, Cassandra learned many households couldn’t afford to heat their homes in the winter.

“I guess the fact that some people have to make the decision of whether to set food on the table, or to heat their homes, is a really difficult decision that no household should really “re going to have to” stimulate, ” tells Cassandra.

Cassandra at 10. Photo via L’Oreal Paris/ Upworthy.

At only 10 years old, she was determined to come up with a solution.

While visiting a green energy expo at the University of Long Island, Cassandra learned that you could turn utilized cooking petroleum into Biodiesel fuel. So she started going around her neighborhood to local restaurants to see if they’d be willing to donate theirs.

Several got on board, and soon enough, TGIF was helping local families and shelters remain warm in the winter.

A restauranteur donating cooking oil to TGIF. Photo via L’Oreal Paris/ Upworthy.

And it’s not just about philanthropy — using biodiesel fuel is also much better for the environment. In fact, to date, TGIF’s efforts have offset almost 3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

2. Meanwhile Valerie Weisler is devoting strength and confidence back to teens all over the world who’ve been bullied.

When Valerie was 14, her mothers told her the latter are getting a divorce, and just like that, she shut down. Abruptly she became this person who didn’t talk or attain eye contact, which regrettably constructed her a target for bullies.

Kids started leaving cruel notes assaulting her behaviour in her locker. It didn’t take long for those words to sink in.

“I only branded myself with all those words and told myself that they were right, ” tells Valerie.

Then, one day she saw another kid get bullied by his locker, and her perspective alter. She told him he wasn’t alone in what he was going through — he told her that validation meant more to him than she could possibly know.

That night, she went home and started her nonprofit — The Validation Project.

The organization not only provides support for teens who feel like outsiders, it connects them with a project they’re passionate about that also happens to generate social good. It’s all about reminding them they’re capable of anything.

“Sometimes you just really require somebody else to tell you that you have that worth inside of you and prove you how you can use it, ” tells Valerie.

Today, the Project works with approximately 6,000 teens in 105 countries around the world.

3. And Deborah Jiang-Stein helps incarcerated girls move on with their lives, and not be defined by their past .

Deborah was actually born and spent the first year of their own lives in prison because her mother was incarcerated. She then expended the majority of her childhood in foster homes, and almost wound up back in prison on a number of occasions.

Eventually, however, she was able to pull herself off her destructive path, and founded UnPrison Project — a nonprofit dedicated to helping incarcerated girls lead a successful life after their release .

“The theory is that if there’re self-development programs, self-esteem education, literacy improvement inside, that they’ll have the skills on the outside to do something differently and be a resource, ” says Deborah.

Deborah Jiang-Stein. Photo via L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth .

But it’s not just about developing life skills. A large part of Deborah’s job is sharing her own tale with incarcerated girls so they can see that it’s possible to take a different track after prison.

Deborah says it’s about taking away the label of “prisoner, ” and depicting these women who they truly are.

“When I’m at a prison, what I see before me isn’t captives, ” says Deborah. “I find people’s mothers, and aunts, and grandmothers, and daughters, and sisters, and we relate to each other like that.”

Thanks to bold activists like this, more and more women will know they can do anything through both strength and conviction.

“We see them all as agents of change and we want them to be able to identify problems in their own communities, and eventually be able to rally people around that issue to create systems change, ” tells Rana.

Inspiring agency within others is what every Woman of Worth Honoree strives to achieve. And, thankfully, the next generation seems more than ready to be that change, and take on whatever challenges come their way.

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How one teen went from bullied middle schooler to app inventor to world-renowned activist.

Natalie Hampton’s experience in middle school left her with painful memories she won’t soon forget.

In seventh and eighth grade, she was bullied relentlessly. Often, she came home with multiple bruises and scars from the encounters.

“The worst incident was when a girl held scissors pointed at my throat saying that she felt a desperate recommend to slit my throat, ” writes Natalie in an email. “I don’t know if my memories of that incident will ever fade.”

But the bullying didn’t stop when she went home at the end of the working day. Thanks to social media, she was at the mercy of her attackers 24/7.

“I felt so vulnerable, voiceless, and worthless, ” she remembers.

As a outcome, she ate lunch alone everyday, and the lack of a friend base stimulated everything she experienced so much worse.

My mom took this photo of me when I was being severely bullied at my previous school. My parents ran in numerous times…

Posted by Sit With Us on Sunday, September 18, 2016

By ninth grade, Natalie was eventually able to switch schools, which helped significantly. However, every time she saw a kid bullied or exiled, it made her at her core.

So she started inviting these kids to sit with her at lunch.

“I would always invite anyone who was sitting alone to join my lunch table because I knew how nasty they felt, ” Natalie explains. “I became so close to these kids and find firsthand that this simple act of kindness made a huge change in their lives.”

In fact, one girl confided in Natalie telling her that, after joining Natalie at the lunch table, she overcame suicidal thoughts.

That’s when Natalie realise how life-changing small friendship offerings like this could be. It inspired her to take action on a much greater scale.

Natalie turned to social media — the same place she was initially the target of cyberbullying — to help give children a clearer route to a seat with friends a lunch table.

Natalie Hampton and her campaign. All photos via Natalie Hampton, used with permission.

With the help of a freelance coder, she started developing an app she objective up naming Sit With Us .

It has a super simple functionality: The app lets students to act as ambassadors and let children know they’re welcome to sit with them at lunch. On the other side, children looking for a friendly table can find the list of “open lunches” in the app, which means anyone can join forces.

By becoming a Sit With Us ambassador, a student pledges to welcome anyone and everyone who wants to join their table. It calls upon them to not only be more mindful of the bullying taking place in their school, but also to take action rather than just watch it happen.

“If people are more kind to one another at lunch, then they will be more kind inside the classroom and beyond, ” Natalie writes. “One small step like this can change the overall dynamic of local schools community over day so that all individuals feelings welcome and included.”

Since its inception, the Sit With Us app has garnered over 100, 000 users across eight country level won the 2017 Appy Award for best nonprofit app.

According to Natalie, even adults are use it to coordinate lunches and find people to sit with at church.

Meanwhile, Natalie has become a major anti-bullying advocate , speaking at renowned meetings like TEDxTeen London, Girls Can Do, and Say No to Bullying. Natalie’s also been honored with a number of commendations including the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award and the Copper Black Award, and she was recently named one of People Magazine’s 25 Women Changing the World.

Natalie at TEDxTeen London.

And she also regularly spoken at schools around the world about the importance of kindness and inclusion.

She knows how bullying can affect students and wants to provide resources for how to cope. Now she’s focusing on spreading the word and empowering more students to be leaders like her in the anti-bullying oppose.

“I believe that every school has students like me who want to take a leadership role in making their schools more inclusive.”

Natalie says when she goes to college, she plans to continue spreading her message any style she can. She hopes that one day , no child will have to sit alone at lunch.

“I will visit schools in the field near my college, ” Natalie writes. “I want my project to continue to grow and assist as many people as possible.”

However, Natalie believes the key to solving the bullying epidemic lies with the students themselves. Studies have shown that student-led initiatives are far more successful at curtailing bullying than those started by adults. Imagine if all the “cool kids” at every school in America became Sit With Us ambassadors. They could likely eliminate the behaviour in no time.

But even without the app, if kids realise the government had the power to stop bullying simply by inviting those who’re being left out to sit at their proverbial table, it could change everything.

When everyone’s on board to make a change, kindness trumps intolerance, every day of the week.

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The incredible reason this mom baked 96,000 cookies and hasn’t stopped since.

How many cookies should you cook for a fundraiser? 50, 100? Maybe even 500?

Well, when Gretchen Witt, a mother and public relations consultant, was planning her bake marketing, she decided to go big or go home — and set out to bake 96,000.

“I kind of felt like why not try it? What’s the worst that can happen, I fail? ” she remembers. “And then what? People are going to get mad because I tried? “

After all, she had an astounding and important cause to support: pediatric cancer research.

That journey beginning in 2007, when her son, Liam, was diagnosed with stage four cancer at the age of two . “I didn’t know that cancer was[ still] the # 1 disease murderer of children in the U.S ., ” she says.

That realization lighted a flame under her.

All photos provided by Gretchen Witt.

“All you have to do is expend 10 minutes on a pediatric cancer floor, and you’ll be like, sign me up! I’ll do whatever. I’ll cook 96,000 cookies! “

The I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation reports that, as compared with adult cancers, pediatric cancer research is underfunded — leaving many kids without access to the best( and safest) possible treatments.

That’s why when Liam was declared cancer-free a little more than a year later, Witt was ready to fight for other kids like him. So, she rounded up a squad of volunteers and got to baking.

“I wanted to do something that anyone could to participate in , no matter where the latter are, or how old they were or young the latter are, ” she says. “Something that would bring people together.”

Almost a hundred thousand cookies subsequently, Witt had raised over $420,000 for pediatric cancer research .

That’s when she realise she was onto something — people who might not otherwise know much about pediatric cancer were totally fired up about it.

“[ We] permitted people to enter into the world of pediatric cancer in a way that wasn’t scary or frightening, ” she says. “[ Instead of demonstrating them] a picture of a kid with a bald head and telling, ‘Here, I want to talk to you about this, ‘ we could ease them in.”

That “one-time” fundraiser was merely the beginning. Within the year, Witt founded Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a nonprofit have undertaken to creating funds for pediatric cancer research.

Through that nonprofit, Witt was able to inspire people around the country to host their own events, including grassroots cook sales, to create awareness and create funding for better therapy options for kids with cancer. And Witt herself, of course, is still selling delicious cookies.

Since its founding in 2008, there have been more than 8,500 events — in every single country in the country and 18 countries around the world — organized by ordinary people for an extraordinary cause .

And while Liam’s cancer did return and eventually claimed his life — a battle he lost in 2011 — Witt always knew that it was a fight much bigger than them both.

Even through her grief, Witt refused to give up on her nonprofit.

“It was never[ simply] about Liam; it was about the journey that those children went through, ” she tells. “[ We’re] doing what Liam would want us to do, which is to make it better for others.”

Not long after Liam passed away, Witt was recognized for her efforts when she received the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth awarding. “To be recognized like that on such a scale — it simply adds fuel to your gas tank, to keep going, ” she says.

And she did keep going. To date, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has raised virtually $16 million and counting .

“As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t done anything special … how could I not get involved? ” she says. “[ Anyone] can contribute. It only requires having a heart and choosing you want to help kids.”

Witt’s efforts are a reminder that each and every one of us can make a difference , no matter who or where we are.

In the face of something as scary as pediatric cancer, it’s easy to feeling powerless or intimidated. But Witt dug deep and discovered the determination to do something — and it all started with a bake sale.

Having assured firsthand the tenacity of children around cancer who refuse to give up each day, Witt knows just how powerful it is to remain hopeful. And that same fortitude, she tells, is what she wants to offer others.

“The worst thing in the world is to not have hope, ” she tells. “But I’m in the business of devoting people a purpose and dedicating people hope.”

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