A Brooksville community leader is sowing seeds of kindness to the benefit of countless people, and at the age of 15, Emma is just getting started.
Emma's Seeds of Kindness is a Facebook page that represents a widespread movement to make the world better and in a variety of ways. "My goal is to encourage and inspire people of all ages to come together through acts of kindness and education, to make the world a better place," reads the Facebook page.
A quick look at the page reveals accounts of book giveaways, Humane Society pet supply donation drives, a promotion for the Water of South Sudan project, recycling efforts, affirming quotes, and much more. "My 15-year-old daughter runs a social media page on FB and Instagram called Emma's Seeds of Kindness," said Emma's mom, Kim Bolton. "She does all kinds of projects through it to help others, brighten people's days, and spread kindness."
This is not Emma's first large-scale philanthropic effort. The Hernando Sun profiled this young philanthropist five years ago, when she spearheaded a major aluminum can recycling project (https://www.hernandosun.com/cangiveback_2_11_16).
And now, Emma is tackling what may be her biggest project yet. "She is hosting an art contest that is in progress now through April 20th," said Kim Bolton. "The art contest is to bring awareness to trash in our local parks and natural areas that people use for entertainment and relaxation. She is working with the county to see about getting lids for our trash cans where they are needed so animals will not get into the trash, pulling it out and the wind will not blow it out."
Emma is an EarthEcho International Water Monitor Ambassador. Monthly, she enacts this role by testing the water for them in natural areas. "And the common thread we see is trash everywhere, by the cans, in trees, and in the water. She does trash clean-ups on her own and with a friend who does them," said Kim Bolton. "Her end goal besides cleaning up the environment is that everyone has access to clean water to swim in, fish in, play in, drink and use for sanitation."
Emma provides additional details regarding the art contest on her Facebook page.
"My newest project, “Trash! Put A Lid On It” has two parts," she wrote. "The first part is an Art Contest! People within the age of 5-25 have the opportunity to have their design on a sign next to a new trash can with a lid on it and a shirt! When I go monitor water in my local area there is always trash to be picked up. Most of the time it’s only a few feet away from the trash cans that don’t have lids on them. The sign with the artist’s design will be next to the trash can with a lid on it. The goal is to make people more aware of the trash cans and to dispose of their trash properly."
The deadline for the art contest is April 20th. One need not be an artist to participate but must be within the age range of 5-25. The design must include no profanity, nothing vulgar, and be age-appropriate. Acceptable designs will feature flowers, plants, animals, butterflies, positive quotes, and "cool designs.”
Those interested are encouraged to contact her either by FB message or by email: [email protected]
And on April 24th, she will be hosting an online conference, free and open to the public. "There will be guest speakers who will talk about litter and water quality with litter," Emma wrote. "There is no age limit for the conference. We will also be announcing the winner of the art contest."
This, according to Emma, is a very personal effort.
"’Trash! Put A Lid On It’” idea originally started as a group of youth getting together. We were going to have a trash clean up and once we had new trash cans with lids we would then ‘decorate’ them to make them more noticeable but not distracting to our beautiful environment," she said. "I am an EarthEcho International Water Challenge Ambassador and when I would go and monitor water there would also be trash around. Sometimes only a few feet away from the trash cans. [My mentor] Ali Baylor of Golden Rainbow Ranch and I, started brainstorming."
Soon, her ideas took shape and were richly creative in form. "One of the many goals of the Art Contest is to bring awareness to youth so that they can make a difference. I love art, I love to look at it, and I love to make art," she said. "I think the contest will help connect the youth more in my community. I’m really excited about the conference, there will be guest speakers talking about litter and how litter affects the water quality. People don’t realize, unless you live right near the water, just how connected we are to water, how much water affects our lives, and how we need water."
Emma is determined to make a difference, and mom Kim could not be more proud. "It is rare for young people to want to make a difference and be willing to put the work in," she said. "Our daughter does and keeps at it daily."
Visit Emma's Seeds of Kindness on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/EmmasSeedsOfKindness/.