Name: Vanis Buckholz
Location: Orange County, CA
Business: My ReCycler. Vanis launched his recycling business at age 7 and donates 25% of all profits to Project Hope Alliance.
Contributions: Since 2011, Vanis has donated more than $5,000 to Project Hope Alliance!
1) Project Hope Alliance: How many pounds have you recycled to date?
Vanis Buckholz: A LOT!!! During the first two years of my business, I didn't keep track of the amount I recycled. It wasn't until my business got big and I started using a big commercial recycling facility that I was able to keep track. If you include all recycling from the very beginning, I bet I've done close to 100,000 pounds.
2) When and how did you first hear about Project Hope Alliance?
Probably around when I turned 8 years old. My mom was teaching me about charities and why giving back or helping others is important. She said it didn't have to be people; it could be animals or even other things if they where important to me. I picked kids and dogs. We went online and did a lot of searching, and we found Project Hope Alliance. I think it was the very next day when my mom and dad saw a TV show about Project Hope Alliance, and it was a really weird coincidence. That's when we all knew that Project Hope Alliance was going to be the right charity for my business to help.
3) Why did you choose to get involved and take action?
I always felt bad for kids who didn't have their own rooms or even a house to live in. It made me feel bad for the kids who had to sleep in a car or on a floor and maybe were always hungry. I always get to eat before I go to bed, and I have a nice bedroom. When Jennifer [Friend] told me that my donations would help kids have a safe place to live and sleep so they could do good in school, that made it an important part of my business. My customers are always telling me they're happy I help the environment and kids.
4) In what ways do you help fuel our mission?
I think I help Project Hope Alliance by giving donations from the money my business makes. I also promote Project Hope Alliance on every one of my business Facebook posts, plus I have Project Hope Alliance on my business card and flyers.
5) Who are you when you're not changing the lives of the kids and families we serve?
I like to be active. I have lots of energy! I play basketball on a traveling team and on the 7th grade school team. But my very favorite things to do are go-kart racing, surfing, and skateboarding. I also run track and like to play football.
6) What gives you hope, and why?
I guess it gives me hope seeing that the little business I have can help the environment and at the same time can help kids. If more people did something or if more businesses helped in some way, we would be able to fix a lot of things and that would be good. My business can be hard sometimes, but I have help from my customers and my parents. When I tell people about my business, I always say, "It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it!" Thank you for asking me about my business.
Thank you, Vanis, for giving the gift of hope.