Michigan siblings Win National Service Award
Robby and Emma Eimers, ages 16 and 12, of Clinton Township, Michigan, have been named a winner of the 2018 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people from across the U.S. and Canada who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. Fifteen top winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.
Robby and Emma have been helping the homeless and hungry in Detroit every weekend for the past six years through the Eimers Foundation (www.theeimersfoundation.com), the non-profit they co-founded to help people in need. Every Saturday, the siblings serve 200 hot meals and distribute hygiene kits, blankets, and shoes – along with emotional support — to people living on the street. They have raised more than $80,000 to fund their weekly Sharings for the homeless, whom they call their Friends, and have inspired hundreds of other volunteers to help them “Fight Hunger in the D.”
Robby first realized the extent of homelessness at age 9 while helping distribute blankets at a Detroit shelter. That same day, he emptied his piggybank and bought hats and socks for the people he’d met. Since then, he and Emma have helped several formerly homeless people secure their own apartments and have paid off the mortgages for three families facing foreclosure. They have also granted a $1,000 college scholarship each year to a homeless high school senior in honor of their dad, who passed away several years ago. Emma, an animal lover, has added Furry Friends to the mix, providing food for homeless people’s pets. Robby has lobbied state and U.S. Senators to address the crisis of homelessness. Until they do, he is saving to buy a food truck in order to serve more meals. “I’ve learned that I’m capable of doing things I never thought were possible,” says Robby. Emma adds, “I’ve realized you really can follow your passion while helping others.”
The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T. A. Barron and was named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Each year’s 25 Barron Prize young heroes reflect the great diversity of America. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from various backgrounds. Many of them have focused on helping their communities and fellow beings; many others have focused on protecting the environment.
“Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says Barron. “And we need our heroes today more than ever. Not celebrities, but heroes – people whose character can inspire us all. That is the purpose of the Gloria Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”
For more information, visit www.barronprize.org