May 1, 2015
Joshua, 6, and Jeremiah, 8
Roman Catholic religious leader and missionary Mother Teresa advise us to, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
American author Brian Terry shares in his words of wisdom that, “successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.”
Such notations are among four of the rotating opening reflections found on the website of two young brothers making a tremendous impact throughout the globe – one person at a time.
They are young, gifted and Black. Joshua, 6, and Jeremiah, 8, are published authors, successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists. They are proving to the world that you are never too young to care for others and to help people along the way.
The two Greece, New York residents are authors of the 5-star Amazon top shelf seller “Champions of Change – Live to Give.” The 28-page title is about learning how to save money, how to earn money and how to give back to those in need.
In the description of the 2013 book, Amazon reveals that, “It is their mission to empower youth of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to not only create their own income in the spirit of entrepreneurship, but to serve as ‘Change Agents’ who look for opportunities to make an immediate and lasting impact within their communities.”
Amazon cites that since its inception, the book has inspired change throughout the world from New York City to as far away as Malaysia in Southeast Asia.
Their mother, Olivia West, says that this effort all started in their encounter with a homeless man who the brothers wanted to give some money because he may be hungry.
“So they asked the gentleman if he was hungry,” their mother remembered. “They were reluctant at first, even a little scared. Then they brought him something to eat.”
Olivia recalls that the homeless man asked the boys, “Why did you help me?” Their reply was simply, “because we are change agents and we wanted to make the world a better place.”
Illustrated by Benlin Alexander, the book cover colorfully depicts the West brothers on either side helping a homeless man by giving him food and a beverage.
Their book is now a top seller on Amazon receiving notable posted customer reviews.
One reviewer writes, “This book brings me to tears seeing two young children who have the desire to help others and write a book to help inspire others to become, ‘Champions of Change.’”
Another reader writes, “I bought this book for my children last weekend. The first day we had it, we read it three times! My children were so inspired by the authors and their message. The message of the book is awesome – giving, saving and spending.”
She adds that it is written in a “clear and loving language,” and that, “We will definitely be reading it over and over. It leads to great family discussions around giving and being financially responsible. I will be buying more as gifts.”
Yet another reader comments: “This is the heartwarming story of two young boys who make their world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time. It is a valuable and empowering lesson that no matter how small they are, kids can make a difference. It is also a reminder to adults that we have an obligation to encourage and support these virtues in our children.”
Writer Krystle Crossman, in a post on The Black HomeSchool website shares with readers that the brothers have come up with initiatives to help other kids become interested in volunteering for different occasions throughout the year.
Just this last year, Crossman reports, the boys sponsored two Christmas parties for the homeless where they gave gifts and meals to over 200 people. During Thanksgiving, they created “Feed a Family” event where they collected and donated 1,300 pounds of food to 42 families that did not have meals for the holidays.
And for 20 children in foster care that did not get the opportunity to celebrate their birthday, the New York duo devised a “Birthday in a Bag” event. In “Kids Fun Run,” Jeremiah and Joshua raised over $3,000 for a 6-year-old with cancer.
During these special planned gatherings, writes Crossman, the boys have been able to inspire over 200 children to help them volunteer and hopefully, the brothers will inspire their peers to create their own “Agents of Change” events in their neighborhoods. She describes both boys as being, “well-spoken and very polite. Their infectious behaviors have spread throughout New York and hopefully will continue to spread throughout the country.”
As guests on Gabrielle Jordan’s show “ExCel,” Jeremiah and Joshua revealed that the primary inspiration for writing “Champions of Change” came from watching their parents who were also working on a book.
In response to Jordan’s question for any future plans for their business, Jeremiah says that they will be seeking more speaking engagements to grow their enterprise and to increase national sales revenue. The brothers are also looking forward to the opportunity to inspire and create “Change Agents” across America and throughout the world.
Their advice to others notes Joshua on ExCel is, “To be generous and give from your heart.” And, says Jeremiah to his peers, “Be bold and confident and don’t be afraid to sell your product and don’t be afraid to dream big.”