At the age of 8 years old Khloe noticed an issue with homelessness. The moment she found out why people became homeless she wanted to help. Khloe Kares was then created to help supply homeless women with a custom made tote bag. These bags she likes to call “kare bags”, the bags are filled with over 25 bare necessity items that homeless women need. Since starting Khloe Kares, Khloe was inspired to also help other kids discover that they too can be the change in their community. Hosting workshops, motivating them and giving them the tools they need to start a business plan.
In 2017, Khloe traveled to Ghana where she was able to raise enough money to get a water pump and bathroom facility installed at an elementary school. This water pump not only helped the school but it also helped the surrounding community. Every year she plans on installing water pumps in areas that have no access to water and a fully functioning bathroom. In 2018, she installed her 2nd water pump, hosted leadership workshops, was the first American to visit a primary school in a rural village and was granted and acre of land In Ghana.
She plans to own her own community center in both Los Angeles and Ghana to help more women and children off the streets. Her plans for Ghana, is to build a community center with the land she was given and have a place where kids can have a homework house with full electricity, warm food and a place to learn new skills and trades.
You can learn more about Khloe by visiting her at http://khloekares.com
Transcription of Today's show is below!
Maria Fuller- Well, I am so excited to speak today with this amazing girl and share her story with all of our listeners. Today we have Khloe on. And Khloe has been doing some really amazing work that everyone has to hear about. So Khloe, I'd love for you to start out by telling our listeners, how old are you now because you started this work when you were eight and tell us a little bit about yourself. Well, hi, my name is Khloe. I'm 12 years old. And a little bit about me is I have my own nonprofit organization called Khloe Kares where I support the homeless community. And I do workshops with kids. And then I install bathroom facilities and water pumps
Maria Fuller- That's awesome. So you started a nonprofit eight years old, and that's kind of like a big deal because even for like adults, starting a non profit is not an easy thing and it can sound really scary. So what was your inspiration for launching a nonprofit?
Khloe Thompson- Well, I felt like I needed it to be able to continue what I was doing and make it more official and to be able to get the word out more. Also, I feel like I don't want to make it like a profitable organization because I feel like I don't want to make profit off of it. Because I want this, these funds to go to somebody else who needs it but like what really inspired me was knowing that having a nonprofit can open so many more doors for me to help more people.
Maria Fuller- Like seriously, you have some mad business skills and business business brain going on there. I totally love that as an entrepreneur myself. So when you were eight years old, you started to notice something around your around your community. What was that?
Khloe Thompson- Well, when I was eight, my mom, she would drive me to school and I would always see this one homeless woman, I'd always see a bunch of homeless people around my school. I would ask my mom, why, how she was out there? Why were these people out there? Because I was eight, and I didn't really understand it. And it wasn't like one of those things that you get talked about a lot too. Because like my mom always says, everybody has their own little bubble and like in their bubble. It has like their friends and family, but everybody else that's another bubble they don't recognize. But luckily those people they were in my bubble and I recognized them. And so that's when I really saw, and that's what really helped me and showed me what was going on around me so that I could know that I should help them.
Maria Fuller- Yeah. So you saw that there were people that were homeless around you and what did you decide to do about it?
Khloe Thompson- What I decided to do about it was I, at the time, my grandma, she was teaching me how to make tote like bags. So I told her that I was seeing these homeless people around my school and I wanted to do something to help them. So me and her were back and forth on things that we can put inside the bag and how many bags should we make but that questions was answered by my dad because he told me to do 25 bags to start. So once I had done those 25 bags and ended up being 30, and then like, and then it kind of just grew on. That's just where we're at now.
Maria Fuller- So here's the thing. So many of us see problems in the world, right? We see these things and it makes us sad or we say that's not fair, or I don't like that. But you took that next step ahead and said I'm going to do something about it. Can you talk about that? Like, where did that inspiration come in to say, I'm going to actually go and do something even as a kid.
Khloe Thompson- I felt like my mom and my parents are very supportive of me. They always let me know that you can do anything, even though that you are a kid or even though you are eight, you can do so much more than somebody that might be 21. And somebody might be 30 because you at eight, you're able to think of so many things out of the box. You know, like when you're a kid, you're able to do so much and you like so adventurous and sometimes you are a little scared. But guess what, your parents are there to help you push along the way. But also sometimes when you're doing it, you really want to do something and you have your mind set on it and I think a lot of things with kids is that they put their mind on it, and then they're like I' going to do it. So I think that was kind of one of the things like, I had my mind set on it, and I had seen it and I knew there was a problem and when there's a problem, what do you do? You have to fix it.
Maria Fuller - So I'm hearing that you have family members that are really supportive and encouraging you to be a problem solver and to not wait until you're older. So they've influenced you in that way, which I think is so amazing. and wonderful. So let's talk about these little tote bags. So you were making bags did you like sew the bags? Like Tell me about your process?
Khloe Thompson- Well, yes, I sewed the bags. I learned from my grandma who's such an amazing seamstress. But like my process, it's not a long process. It also isn't a short one. Because you have to cut out the bag and then sometimes like we pin the bag, so like when you pin it, it makes it stay in place and so that when you're sewing, it's not moving around and so it'll look nice and then you have to sew the edge so it'll have clean edges, and you're gonna have to slide the strap in there. Then you sew the strap and then once you've sewn the strap, you sew the side. And then once you sew the sides you have to cut the string, and then sometimes one thing I do is it's called pinking. And like, what you do with that is it helps with keeping the edges from fraying up because sometimes the fabric it kind of frays on the edges. And so if it frays too much, it'll go so far back that will take off the seem. And so when you pink it, it helps with that. It sounds like a long process, but it really is it.
Maria Fuller- Yeah, I love that. So I'm actually I sew a little bit I'm not like super advanced. And my daughter, my oldest daughter, who's 10, almost 11 and my youngest daughter who's five, I got them both on the sewing machine this year and that's one of the first things that I taught them how to do is to make tote bags so like when I found out you were doing that I was like oh wow, this is so amazing. Because you know both girls love making things but it's like there's only so many tote bags you can have for yourself at home. But what a wonderful thing that you were sewing with your grandmother before this happened and you took this like creative thing that you were doing, and you made it something so purposeful and useful with your creativity, which I think is like so amazing. So what is going inside of these bags? How did you decide what to put inside of these bags?
Khloe Thompson- Well, there are over 20 items inside the bag and the way I really thought of what everything that should go inside the bags is thinking about everything that I need and everything that I use, everything my parent uses, or everything my parent needs. Like I said, like when I was eight I wasn't using deodorant, but I would know that my parents they use deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste. Like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, like various of the items that I need they need to because they are just like you and me. And so I think I felt like every single thing, like I said that I needed.
Maria Fuller- So you made these bags, and how did you hand out your first initial 30 bags?
Khloe Thompson- It was around my school area because I hadn't mentioned on the LA yet I didn't do that till I was like nine or 10. And then, but I really there were a lot of people around my school and so I got to just pack up the bags, right there was like a local homeless shelter. Like, during during certain times, like they would have to make the people leave. And they would have to stay outside for a while. And it was probably like during like the winter or like during summertime when they had to leave and they weren't like aloud to stay. And so that's like the time when they were out the most and so that's what I would see them the most. That's why we did about 30 bags. We could give everyone one bag.
Maria Fuller- So you hand deliver them to the people that were homeless. What was that experience like for you giving out those bags?
Khloe Thompson- I think when it came to like my first time, I was I had this word, nerve-cited, nervous and excited. And so I was pretty nervous to walk up to someone, because it really was my first time and I was kind of like, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do. And so I kind of just said, Hi, my name is Khloe, what's your name? And then the first lady I ever gave a bag to said my name was Michelle. And so she said, Michelle, and I said, Hi, Miss Michelle. And I think the thing is, I forget that I'm talking to someone that might have been talking to a wall five seconds ago and I don't realize that because I just see them as a person sitting there, and I'm giving them like a gift. And so we normally have long conversations about our days about our weeks and how we're doing. What we're going to do the next day, and when we're going to see the next, you know we always have long conversations. Because I'll tell you something, that I like to talk, I talk a lot. And so I feel like talking to them, it's always nice because a lot of times you get to hear their life stories. You get to hear what they've gone through. And I feel like you realize how wise these people are until you really talk to them. And so that's one thing that I like, when I get to take people out there with me and pass out the bag is that they're able to talk to them and hear their stories and hear what they've gone through. But see that they can persevere, they can get their own jobs, they can get their own house. Like I've met these two people, that one time I had given her a bag and then her and her husband, they just bought an apartment in LA. And so I think it's just great just being able to talk to these people. And just knowing that talking to that one person and giving that one bag has led to giving to maybe thousands of people, and I think it's just great.
Maria Fuller- Girl you have - I'm sitting here crying if you could see me because you're so amazing. You've really touched my heart with the work that you're doing. Because it's not about giving the bags to people and the love and the generosity that you put into it. But you went out and connected with these people because you could have just left them at the shelter for the shelter to hand out right but you took that step above and connected with these people. And while I haven't never been homeless. I have worked with that population myself in New York City. When you connect with another human being and you talk to them and you make them feel like they are seen and they are valid, and they are wanted and they are loved you did that and that has sparked hope for them and I, I am so thankful for you and the work that you're doing and that to share this story with everyone listening because I hope it inspires others to you know, go out and do good it's all about love right? You're, You're just loving on those people that that need a little extra love and support in their life. I like I'm just without words about you. You're amazing. like super amazing. So how many bags have you done up to today? Do you have a count?
Khloe Thompson- around 5500
Maria Fuller- Holy smokes! That's amazing girl! Do you just do you stand up in your mirror every day and say like, I'm awesome. I'm amazing. I am love. I am giving love out every day. I really hope you are and see how amazing you are. That's incredible. So you so you started these bags you're giving them out, you launched a nonprofit. So how let's talk about business right because I can tell you're a business savvy woman. Part of this is like, Where are you getting all of the supplies? Were you getting the funds to like make the bags and like fill them with all of that stuff. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Khloe Thompson- So when it comes to fabric, my grandma she had gone to this really big fabric warehouse near near her house. And she was getting bolts of the fabric and they were asking her Why are you getting this much fabric? She then told them about what I do. And then like the manager, she was like oh, wow, I've heard of what your grandaughter is doing. And she was like, you know what we're gonna donate like 80 bolts of fabric to you. And its so hilarious all the bolts are at my grandma's. Now we don't have 80 bolts anymore, we are down a bunch but my grandma she has like a little nice little bar at her house. Yeah, that's full of fabric!
Maria Fuller- That's so amazing. So people donated the fabric. How awesome is that? And so how about all the stuff that goes inside of the bags?
Khloe Thompson- Um, it's a lot of donation based like a couple weeks ago, I would turn the camera around but like there's like a bunch of like bags full of donations literally right behind the camera. They're like all stacked up in our living room. And then we have boxes all on the wall of just, just bunch of stuff and we have more stuff coming soon.
Maria Fuller- That's amazing!
Khloe Thompson- It's also taking up a lot of space.
Maria Fuller- So part of your business plan, maybe have you started thinking about getting a space to rent or something eventually and getting sponsors to come in and help you with that, so that you can create a place for Khloe cares to build out and stuff.
Khloe Thompson- Yeah.
Maria Fuller- Awesome. Well, it's all baby steps that you have to take right as part of growth and stuff. Amazing. So I mean, if, if this wasn't all inspirational enough, your work doesn't just stop there. Right? Because then what did you do in 2017?
Khloe Thompson- In 2017, I installed my first bathroom facility in water pump in Ghana
Maria Fuller- Wait. Okay, so hold up. Ghans Africa? You installed a bathroom and water pump facility. Uh, where did that come from?
Khloe Thompson- So my Aunty Don, she lives out there, well let me tell you first why she moved out there, She's still live out here. Somy grandma, she does a bunch of trips out there all the time, like two to three times a year. She goes out there, and she'll bring people with her. And so one year my auntie Don, she went with her. And she fell in love with Ghana. And so she decided to move out there when she retired. And so that's what she did. And so she lives out there. She mentors, 12 girls called the Don Sunday girls. And they come every Sunday and Don mentors them and I got to meet them so many times. They're all my friends there. And I got invited my first year to come and me and my mom were like, yeah, that's so exciting. But we're not going to go here and do nothing. And so what we decided to do was think about what's most needed out there and immediately what came up was Water. And so that's what we decided to do.
Maria Fuller- Yeah. So can you talk a little bit for those listeners that don't understand why water is an issue in Ghana? Can you talk a little bit about that?
Khloe Thompson- Yeah, water is such a big issue in just so many countries in general, because I think over 60% of the Ghana population does not have access to clean water. It's a big portion of it. And I feel like here in the US, you can grab a bottle of water and feel safe drinking it. You can drink from your shower and you can drink from your sink and not worry that something bad's gonna happen to you. But those people there sometimes they don't have running water. They have to go to like different places to get in. It's probably not even that clean in the first place. Like our water is filtered. There's probably is not filtered at all or is barely or is a little bit of kind of filtered. So it's such an important thing to have clean water out there because so many people can get sick. And they can die from this. All the germs inside the water that they're drinking that they're showering in that get in their eyes. There's just so much that that can happen to them just because of water. Yeah,
Maria Fuller - So what does the water pump do? So tell me a little bit about what you installed. You installed a water pump and a bathroom facility. So what does that kind of entail and give to that community?
Khloe Thompson– Well the water pump was actually used for everybody in the whole village but they do have to pay a small price which goes to keeping up the cleanliness of the water pump and the bathroom facility out there. And but yeah, it's used for the village and its used for the kids, so it makes the trip easier because a lot of times kids, they have to walk miles to get water. And then they're normally late for school. And when your late for school then it's kind of like, what am I going to do? Because you're missing time to learn. And I feel like education is such an important thing. And a lot of times people can't get it because they have to walk miles and miles to drop off the water, and then they're not making it to school on time, but it means now to say school isn't far away. They'll be able to get water from the school and also a bathroom facility is very important. Because if you think about it, how would you feel if you were like a parent. If you were to send your kid to school, and you know that they're using the bathroom and literally a hole dug in the ground inside like a shed and in the bathroom fascility I just installed last year. Wow, I can say last year. It's just crazy saying that. But last year, there was over like 2000 kids and there's only like two bathrooms with like two stalls in it. And there's literally a hole in the floor. And kids, and there's over a bunch of kids and a lot of kids, it's hard for them to hold it and so they kind of use the bathroom where they're at. And it's just horrible. But now and also they don't need to wash their hands. So that is germs going around everywhere.
Maria Fuller- Yeah, they don't get to wash their hands and then if they don't have clean water, then then then there's chances of like getting sick and diseases so high in a country that already doesn't have as good medicine. And it just becomes like this vicious cycle right like one of the biggest things in healthcare because that's what I actually studied was was health care is the importance of just good hand washing and sanitary conditions makes a huge impact in health. Yeah, and it's the things we take for granted every day.
Khloe Thompson- It is the things we take for granted, like really, when you go to Africa, and like to Ghana, and you see everything that these kids and there are kids doing so much. Like they're doing such amazing things like they do. They just do so much for their family. They do so much for other people, but also they go through so much to but luckily now they have a bathroom that has a flushing toilet with also a sink. with running water with soap. They all each gets hand sanitizer. They all get stuff to make sure that they stay clean. They get a water pump so that their water isn't dirty when they go home to fetch it or when they go to fetch. It is what it is. So there's just so much that they do. But luckily now life is gonna be a little bit easier, so that you're able to, you know, go on with your life. Yeah. I feel like it just helped a lot.
Maria Fuller- Totally. So you installed one in 2017. Then you went back in 2018 and installed another one and you were gifted something. What were you gifted?
Khloe Thompson- In 2018. I was gifted with land. Land in Ghana. So I own land. It's still so weird to say, like, I land. Yeah.
Maria Fuller- So what's the plan for that land?
Khloe Thompson- Hopefully, I want to build like a community center type of thing there. Were like kids, they can come and do their homework because a lot of times with kids, it's like you have to do everything before the sun goes down because they don't have lights. A lot of them don't have lights in the house. And so every thing has to happen before the sun goes down so they can get their work done. And so that place is going to have electricity it is going to have computers, it's going to have a bunch of programs there. So that kids they can get the best education quality is as they should. You know, so I think that having that being that being built would help so many people getting a better education.
Maria Fuller- Like, I mean, if you couldn't blow me away anymore like that right there is just is just so amazing. I have no words. You're just such an incredible role model for all of us humans, like not even for kids but like as a human, you are just going out there and you are making massive impact for others like you are such a shining example of what it means to be in service of others. At 12 years old, I can only imagine what you'll be doing at 18 or 25. Or you know, at 35 years of age, I just hope that you just keep being you and doing this because it's incredible.