Twin brothers Jake and Max Klein have gone a long way in their 14 years to #ShareKindness in their community.
The boys, founders of the website KidsThatDoGood.com, have been helping others since they were very young.
At only 4, they took all the money out of their piggy banks to shop for kids who had sent letters to Santa.
They went to Target, bought the gifts, and then gave them to a charity to distribute them. Ever since then, Max and Jake, who live in Edgewater, New Jersey, have been motivated to give back.
“When they were about six or seven, they decided that they wanted to have their birthdays become charitable donations,” their mom, Sandy Klein, told TODAY.
The boys picked the charities — causes have included gathering bulletproof vests for their local police department, laptops for the fire department, and selling cookies to raise money for pediatric cancer research — and sent invitations asking that guests contribute in lieu of presents.
“We were thrilled. I mean, it’s something that you only dream of as a parent,” said Sandy Klein.
The twins refuse to let their age hold them back. When a soup kitchen told them they were too young to volunteer, the boys were only motivated more: They decided to step up their charitable efforts, creating a website dedicated to encouraging all kids to give back.
“We were so happy and energized, ready to help, but then getting turned down was like crushing your dreams,” said Max Klein.
True to form, they turned lemons into lemonade. The site, which launched three months ago, is “exceeding our expectations,” he said.
Every month, Kids That Do Good chooses a different charity to support. This month, their efforts went towards the Center for Hope and Safety, which helps women and children affected by domestic violence.
With the help of other kids in the community, they collected enough food to make 191 holiday meals for the families living there.
“I think they really embody the idea of shared kindness,” said their dad, Mark Klein. “Hopefully, it’s contagious and they seem to get a smile on everybody’s face when they’re doing it.”