My name is Luke O'Flaherty and I am a proud member of the Class of 2018 at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School where we are learning the value of service, and to be men for others. For part of my service I have been volunteering at Nicklaus Children's Hospital (formerly known as Miami Children's Hospital) since 2013. A big part of my volunteer effort is focusing on the children, making them feel comfortable in what is often a stressful environment, by interaction and with small gifts that they can use during their stay.
While most children's hospitals benefit from the generosity of many wonderful people during the holiday season, there is often a shortage of small toys, puzzles, and art supplies to be given out during the rest of the year. I experienced this shortage during my years volunteering, and resolved to fix it by founding a non-profit charitable foundation called Gifts4Kids to raise funds all year round.
Founding a charity was not an easy process, but after a lot of research, and a lot of paperwork, I can tell you that Gifts4Kids is federally recognized under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt publicly supported charity. 100% of all donations go directly to helping the kids, and Gifts4Kids is staffed entirely by volunteers like me who are passionate about making a difference.