About Kids Who Can!
Start Something and Become the Change in One Child's Life Today!
As part of our mission at Working Animals Giving Service for Kids (W.A.G.S. 4 Kids), we maintain a strong commitment to and belief in the ability of children who are able, to help those not as fortunate as themselves. Today we are proud to announce our “Kids Who Can” program, designed specifically to empower individual students and youth groups to engage whatever individual gifts and talents they may have, in benefit to local children challenged in their everyday lives.
Already the 4H kids of Lake County have made a difference by raising over $9,000 in 5 minutes at the 2014 Lake County Fair in memory of daughter, sister & friend, Susie Mettler.
Local student athletes of the Grindstone Charity Classic are anxiously awaiting their 2nd Annual Spring Showcase for March 2015. Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, Junior Quota Club of Lake County and more have pledged their partnership with “Kids Who Can” and are developing their youth empowerment projects with guidance from “Kids Who Can” Program Director, Mrs. Tina Mettler. As the charity that Cleveland grew, W.A.G.S. would like to invite you to join us and help get the new program off to a resounding start!
Youth Empowerment Programs
David's Big Idea Against Autism - Ford PTA
At Ford's PTA Meeting on November 11th, a 12 year old boy spoke about a group he has started called "The Big Idea Against Autism". David, who is a 6th grader, was elected class president of his unit class. He has autism and is legally blind. He wants to raise money for a classmate, Cassidy, who is non-verbal and autistic, to have a service dog.
David prepared a speech and stood up in front of our PTA group tonight. He was very nervous and felt overwhelmed, but he executed his speech very well and was very articulate.
I feel so emotional tonight thinking about this boy. There are so many misconceptions about people with disabilities, but all I could think about was his abilities tonight. He spoke in front of a group and was articulate and brave. Having overcome my own fear of public speaking, I give him props. It took me years of public speaking before I stopped shaking. He has an idea. A really big idea. He's only 12. It's a selfless idea. He is smart and he is a rain-maker with all his ideas. Did I mention that he is only 12?
I can't wait until he announces how he plans to execute his idea. I hope our community stands behind him and supports him like he is supporting his friend, Cassidy. If all of us had a friend as caring as selfless as David in our life, this world would be a better place. It's time we stop the misconceptions about Autism and think about the person first. Stop the labels. Stop the stereotypes.
Thank you David for touching my heart today.
P.S. Thank you Jacob for coming to support David. You are my other rock star.
If you were blessed to know Susie Mettler, you already know she’s a very independent young lady. Susie was a recent Perry High School graduate with honors. She was a talented athlete, with a great sense of humor, and a love for her animals. Unfortunately, she passed over the Fourth of July holiday, leaving the Perry community heartbroken, but inspired to never give up. “She wants the world to know just how wonderful life is, and how strong she is, and how strong she wants them to be,” said Susie’s mom, Tina Mettler.
A sledding accident last December left Susie a quadriplegic. 19 Action News reporter, Scott Taylor, met her as she was falling in love with a charity in northeast Ohio called Wags4Kids, which gives service dogs to children in need. “A week before she died, she did five laps in her manual wheelchair on her own at the CFC. She called me and said, ‘Mom! I did five laps by myself. I can do this,'” recalled Tina.
Susie said she wanted to be a motivational speaker. She already had a following, including young kids in Perry she had spoken to and inspired earlier this year. She spent time motivating others in rehab, and a lot of time with her family and her animals.
Already the 4H kids of Lake County have made a difference by raising over $9,000 in 5 minutes at the 2014 Lake County Fair in memory of daughter, sister & friend, Susie Mettler. (See: http://youtu.be/zaG2I1_h_Pw)
Boy Scouts of America
We are excited to announce a partnership with the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Boy Scouts of America. Scouts will be given the opportunity to earn their Eagle rank by conducting a Kids Who Can! Service Project.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout.
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is excited to announce that Every Boy Scout who completes an eligible Kids Who Can! Service Project will be eligible to receive the Kids Who Can! Patch. That's right...we have our own Patch! How cool is that?
These Kids Who Can! Service Projects will not be exclusive to those looking to obtain their Eagle rank. We look forward to working with children of all ages eager to demonstrate their talents and leadership to empower a child with everyday challenges.
World Champion Taekwondo Academy
Kick 4 A Miracle
On Saturday, October 18th - adults and kids alike came together in Strongville, OH to "kick" and "break" their bad habits at the 1st Annual World Champion TKD Academy Kick 4 A Miracle. These Kids Who Can! Kicked and Broke their bad habits all to empower one little girl, Kaitlynn. These amazing kids take class every week with Kaitlynn and her sister Cora. So, what can a bunch of kids accomplish? Let's start with raising over $2,600 in one day of family fun! And raise you one EMPOWERING "Never Give Up, Sir!" Special Thanks to Master Ryu for embodying this life lesson that your individual power is "bigger than yourself".
Become A Kid Who Can!
How To Get Involved: Please submit your Kids Who Can! Project via the provided web form or contact our “Kids Who Can” Program Director, Mrs. Tina Mettler at 216-586-5853 ext. 6 at your earliest convenience. Arrangements can be made to provide you with program information, to listen to your own great ideas and to kickstart your “Kids Who Can” project. Join us and change a life today!
Submit Your Kids Who Can! Project
Please complete the below contact form to connect with our Kids Who Can! Program Director, Mrs. Tina Mettler. Arrangements will be made to provide you with program information, to listen to your own great ideas and to kick-start your Kids Who Can! project. Join us and change a life today!
"How can community service change lives? I have served the kids in Miss Martin’s class for two years. They taught me how to build connections with people who appear to be different, but really aren’t. They have showed me not to focus on the negative things, and to simply have fun. These lessons are exactly how I want to live my life."
This is a story to share with your class. My daughter wrote it after she came back to school as a quadriplegic. She worked at the elementary with handicapped students before and after her accident. I think they would enjoy it. - Tina
The first opportunity I had to go back to volunteering was one of the best days of high school. I was greeted by all of the students in Miss Martin’s class. It was a long overdue visit. It had been 16 weeks, and they were all excited to see me and my new changes. I thought it would be awkward and that they wouldn’t want to talk with me, but it was the opposite. All of the students came up to say hi. One student came up and asked me if I was okay, and another asked me why I was driving this thing. I was laughing at all of their questions because these kids don’t have a filter, and they are not afraid to talk about anything. The best moment came when one specific student rushed up to me and kept repeating the word “tree.” At first I didn’t know what he was talking about. When I realized that he was referring to the tree that I hit back in December, I started laughing hysterically. One of his aides explained to me that they had to tell him I hit a tree because he kept saying “Susie hit a brick wall.”
One of my biggest fears when I returned to school was that my classmates and my students wouldn’t treat me the same as before, that they would view me differently than them. I felt as if I had to tell my classmates how I expected to be treated, which I did during my speeches in the Goodwin Theater. But I didn’t have to do that with my students. My students accepted my wheelchair and my changes, but they also asked a lot of questions to learn about my differences. This showed me how community service changes lives, because the students I served for the past two years were now serving me. They show everyone how simple and easy it is to accept everyone and their differences.
That same student's acceptance doesn’t stop at questions. One day when I was volunteering, he was reading a book to me. He had read this book a million times, and had it memorized. I was told by Miss Martin to have a conversation after reading the book to give him the chance to tell me what the book was about and to share his favorite parts. When I asked him who his favorite character was he looked really hard at the book, but couldn’t decide. My student then asked me who my favorite character was and picked one that looked good to me. At this point I tried to point to my favorite character, He told me to point out my favorite character, and I tried but I obviously cannot, so he then grabbed my hand, and guided it towards the character I picked. He didn’t ask questions, he did not make this a big deal. He helped me – rather, he served me. I was stunned by this, because I was always the one to help me, but now he’s had the chance to help me. This story shows how service should be, and how much everyone involved can take out of the experience.
How can community service change lives? I have served the kids in Miss Martin’s class for two years. They taught me how to build connections with people who appear to be different, but really aren’t. They have showed me not to focus on the negative things, and to simply have fun. These lessons are exactly how I want to live my life.