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You might remember Samuel Smith – he’s one of the wonder kids we featured in our print edition last year who, at just 12-years-old, founded KIN Schools Day, a day dedicated to ‘kids helping kids’, in collaboration with the organisation, Kids in Need. He’s kicked some serious goals since then, including a number of awards and recognition from a few famous faces, but Samuel hasn’t let his success change his focus: he’s got another KIN Schools Day Charity Dinner on November 16 to organise.

Q: How did you get involved with Kids in Need, and when? 

When I was in year 6, 2016 I started raising money for Kids in Need which is when I founded Kin Schools Day, all about “Kids Helping Kids”. It was at the beginning of the year, I hatched the idea in the school holidays. I chose the charity because it had been going for over 35 years and all the money raised stays on the Tweed and Gold Coast with ALL funds going to the kids. I wanted a charity that would be kids helping kids, all kids regardless of there disabilities or serious illness.

Q: What do you love about helping people?

I love knowing that I can make a difference and can change other kids lives and situation. It is hard to explain but you know how it is really cool when you receive a gift from somebody, you feel happy but honestly, there is no feeling like that one when you do something for somebody else, its sort of like you buzz inside and it last forever. To think that the money I raise can help a child to walk, to talk, to sing,  to play an instrument, to learn to swim to have access to technology and medical support their families are not able to, is so cool. I want all kids to know that anything is possible regardless of there situation and that dreams do come true. One of my favourite programs that kids in need fund is a music program at the local Currumbin special school, Kids in Need have paid for this program for 7 years. I have seen photos and the smiles on the kids faces are worth a million bucks.

Q: What do you love about working with charities like KIN?

That charities like KIN can change kids lives. For families and children to know they are not alone and there is a community here supporting them in their time of need.

Sometimes stuff can happen that does not make me feel great and all I have to do is focus on my charity work or the think about the kids that I am helping and everything else just does not seem such a big thing.  I love that it gives me an opportunity to spread the word about stuff I am really passionate about. Like that fact we are all born different, we are not meant to be the same and it is our differences that make us unique, this should be celebrated and supported, not feared and made fun of. Everyone has a right to dream but some people just need a helping hand to achieve there’s….  that is what Kin Schools Day is all about. It’s about raising awareness and much needed funds for local kids in the community who need help to achieve there dreams.

Q: How much time have you spent organising your upcoming KIN Schools Day Charity Dinner so far?

Hours and hours and hours and hours. I starting writing to people at the beginning of this year inviting individuals to be guest speaker, I have sent truck loads of emails most don’t acknowledge or respond but that is OK because it just means they were not the right person, so I just kept trying. I have been spending weekends and holidays door knocking the local businesses again and emailing seeking support to donate goods and vouchers for the charity auction at the Dinner. I also got the support of a major sponsor this year after I spoke at the local Tweed Chamber of commerce business breakfast. This year Lloyds Auctions have generously offered to run the auction so I hope that it will give greater expose to the businesses who donate and also to get more people involved in buying the goods, so can raise more money. The next few weeks will be crazy with heaps of stuff to do with auction goods, raffle, speech and video!! I also sending truck heaps of emails to media to let everyone know that the event and get people to buy the tickets.

Q: What was the absolute best day of your life?

It is really hard to take one day cause there has been lots. When Mr Peter Fitz sent the email last year asking how can he help, was amazing and the Lunch with Fitz was hatched then Mr Brendan Cannon put his hand up to help, I was star struck. 2 former Wallabies offering to support me, a 12 year old boy raise money for kids in need, I could not believe it. The day of Lunch was amazing, I did not want it to end, sometimes it does not seem real.  Then this year when Mr Mat Rogers, Mrs Chloe Maxwell and Mr Spida Everit put there hands up was the same. I was buzzing for days. The fact that these individuals give there time freely is a testament to who they they are.

Spending the day with my great grandmother on her 107th birthday will always be special to me, she was a really amazing lady.

Receiving the Australia Day Awards were a real honour. Attending the NSW/ACT Young Achievers Awards, as a Semi Finalist was amazing, I was the youngest there, most in there twenties, so listening to these inspiring young people and there stories was amazing.

Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

The power of magic. I would spread and give the gift of kindness, I know it probably sounds a bit lame but honestly if everyone always acted with kindness and consideration of others I reckon the world would be a different place. Kindness would support poverty, discrimination, bullying, abuse… pretty much everything! My kindergarten teacher taught us that in life we are given choice. I did not understand the enormity of the lesson at the time but I do now. I listen to people in the street, on social media and on the TV and it would be so cool to just wave a magic wand.

Q: What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend? 

I am a mad Rugby Union Nut and also enjoy hanging out at the beach is a summer favourite.

Q: What book have you most recently read? What movie have you most recently seen?

Dan Carter, My Story – I have also recently started writing a kids book aimed at preschool, kindergarten and child care age. I hope it spreads the word and message of kindness to those who read it and those who are listening to it. It will be called Shomee and Raah, The Little Book of Magic. My message this year and in the book is, Smile don’t stare, wave don’t point, say g’day don’t turn away!

Latest movie – Predator

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? 

A professional Rugby player, travelling and playing all over the world. Maybe study humanitarian Law and communications? I hope Kin Schools Day will be a nationally recognised and celebrated Day, celebrated in every school with funds raised going to local nominated kids charity. KIDS HELPING KIDS. To create a platform for kids in encouraging them to believe they can make a difference and support other kids for them to believe they don’t have to be grown up to make a difference. With Ambassadors in each school and a national presence and celebration.  Much is spoken about the need to stop bully and teen suicide, which are absolutely tragic but just maybe if kids are busy helping others and experiencing that amazing feeling of helping others they will see there is hope and purpose. Maybe they will realise it is way cooler to help raise money for a iPad which gives a child the gift of communication rather then bullying somebody via social media.

Q: Which celebrity do you look up to, and why? 

I am not really start struck by the movie and TV stars cause I don’t think its real and some is all retail and no detail. Although there are a number of people that do all different things and I think they are all champions in their own way. Some examples are Mr Peter Fitz, Mr Brendan Cannon, Mr Mat Rogers, Mrs Chloe Maxwell and Mr Peter Everitt all are amazing for there commitment to helping others and their kindness a gift to many communities and the many causes they support.  I have amazing respect for Obama and would love to meet him.  He is so respectful has great social justice commitment and a wonderful leader because he lead by the example of kindness and truth. I really admire footy Champions like David Pocock and Jonathan Thurston who use their success in their individual sports to support causes they are passionate about.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

In 15 years I will be 28, I hope I will be living between Australia and Oversees. Celebrating Australia’s National Kin Schools Day!!! Playing Rugby and working with kids and communities to raise awareness and funds to support and help kids in need, for all kids to believe anything is possible anywhere and at any time and I hope by that time I will have my superpower to spread the gift of kindness 🙂 We were born with 2 hands, one to help ourselves and one to help others.

If you want to support Samuel and KIN, head to www.kidsinneedassociation.com.au/kin-schools-day.

This November, local celebrities and champion sportsmen bring the second KIN Schools Day Charity Gala to fruition! AFL star and Gold FM breakfast radio host, Peter “Spida” Everitt and dual-code international rugby legend, Mat Rogers will join Australian television presenter and model, Chloe Maxwell on stage for an evening guaranteed to entertain!

WHAT // KIN Schools Day Charity Dinner
WHEN // Friday November 16, 6.30pm
WHERE // Twin Towns, Tweed Heads
MORE // www.trybooking.com/417860

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