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12-Year-Old Asks Community to Help Him Raise 10,000 Cans for the Hungry

He was only 7 years old when he first realized that there are people in need in the world and he can do something to help. Now 12 years old and seven food drives later, the ambitiously big-hearted Cameron Dax is heading up yet another food drive, this year with a goal of raising 10,000 cans and food items.

It all started in 2011 when the young Cameron had a moving interaction with a homeless family. The family was huddled under a blanket and Cameron, who had just completed a food drive community service project at his elementary school, said his heart was filled with sadness at the thought of them being cold and hungry. Asking his mom if there was anything he could do to help, they decided to give the family the groceries they had in their car.

“It was a really humbling experience because he was so small and they broke down in tears,” said Cameron’s mom, Coral Dax. “[After that] Cameron said ‘I want to do this every year.’”

He started his first self-initiated food drive that Christmas by going around his neighborhood with a wagon, collecting in total 106 cans. Gaining traction and community support every year since then, Cameron now has a dozen local businesses helping him in his venture of raising 10,000 cans and food items.

In addition to asking the community to donate to his cause by bringing food items to collection bins in the business’ lobbies, Cameron also has a GoFundMe account through which he’ll collect money to purchase food items through a discount partnership he created with Grocery Outlet.

When asked why he does a food drive every year, Cameron said simply, “Because it’s the polite thing to do.”

“I want to make sure that people in need have food,” he continued. “I do [the food drive] because I like to help others and it makes me feel good inside.”

Perhaps the world’s youngest businessman, the 7th grader is also in talks with his parents about starting a nonprofit. The idea came after bigger corporations said they would love to support him but could not because he was not a nonprofit.

Cameron’s efforts are also apparently contagious as two of his friends are now running their own food drive.

“Behavior tends to be contagious, whether it’s positive or negative,” said Coral. “It’s great to have a kid who actually wants to contribute and help society…If you can get kids on board with something that’s really good and positive for the community and you can instill that behavior in them, there’s a lot they can do.”

As an incentive to get businesses and the community to give big this holiday season, Cameron will award the highest collecting business or person a painting he created that he says is a rendition of a Van Gough. He also painted and sold 3 paintings to be added to his Grocery Outlet fund and has been commissioned to paint two more.

With multiple talents and a big heart, Cameron is calling on the community to help him reach his goal by Dec. 15 this year.

You can donate cans and non-perishable food items to collection bins at the offices of supporting businesses that include Fiske Financial Services, ACME Chiropractic, Emigh Hardware, Visions In Education Charter School, CrossFit Loco Ocho, Functional Longevity Institute, Brown Financial Services, Carmichael Chamber of Commerce, Grass Valley 4-Wheelers, Dax Construction, and AlphaOne Ambulance Medical Services.

Food items that Cameron is looking to collect include canned food, pasta, rice, beans, macaroni & cheese, dried soups, pudding, cereal, and any dry good that can be turned into a meal.

If you’re unable to give food items, you may also give financially (and hear Cameron’s story from Cameron himself) through his GoFundMe at gofundme.com/feedingmyneighbors.

Cameron’s collected goods will be donated to the San Juan Unified School District Food Closet and the Carmichael Food Closet.

About the author

Bethany Harris

Bethany joined Sacramento Press in 2013 and enjoys writing articles that uncover the happenings of the city and the people behind the stories who make them so worth telling. A native of Sacramento, she also loves photography, running, gardening, coffee, and discovering new places and new things to do--both in the city and throughout California.

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