EDGEWATER, N.J. — Jake and Max Klein of Edgewater learned from their parents at a young age the importance of giving what you get.
The only problem was that when they first tried to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, the 9-year-olds were turned away simply because they were "too young."
But giving back shouldn't be so difficult, which is why the boys have launched "Kids That Do Good," a website to help connect youth to volunteer opportunities.
"It’s all about getting involved when you are young and making that part of who you are," Max said. "There are so many ways to make a difference and people just don’t think about all the easily accessible things right in front of them."
Last year, the boys raised funds for Cookies for Kids Cancer after learning cancer affects people of all ages when their grandfather was diagnosed.
They've also raised funds to help the local volunteer fire squad purchase a new stretcher and computer, sang at local nursing homes and helped bring in significant funding for families impacted by the Avalon Fire.
The boys said volunteer opportunities in the area include:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Lodi & Hackensack
- Boys & Girls Club of Wayne
- "Let’s Go Fishing" Little Falls Chapter
- Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside
- ·Muscle Dystrophy Association of Maywood
- BestFriends.org (anywhere)
- Wire to servicemen and women overseas (anywhere)
- Start a community garden (anywhere)
- Serve meals to the homeless (anywhere)
The boys are in the process of building a board of directors to include kids across the country, as well as adults who want to help make a greater impact.
"Ideally we want people to do good things just because — not just thinking about how they personally will benefit," Jake said.
"We want young people to change the way they think and consider doing good things just because it is the right thing to do."