One day on the way to school, 8-year-old Khloe looked out her mom’s car window and noticed a woman on the street who was homeless. The next day, they passed the same woman again. And the next day, again. Khloe was shocked. How did the woman get there? Why was no one helping her?
Later that day, Khloe sat down with her mom, Alisha, and they talked about homelessness in their community.
Los Angeles County has over 58,000 homeless people—one of the highest numbers in the country—and it provides shelter to less than 30% of these people. As a result, many individuals and even families end up living on the streets.
Khloe decided that she didn’t just want to help the woman by her school—she wanted to help all the homeless women in her LA community.
She and her mom decided that they could make and hand out care bags filled with everything from shampoo and soap to toothpaste and lunch.
But Khloe didn’t want to give the women their items in a flimsy plastic bag. Instead, with her great-grandmother’s help, she would sew each woman her own bag—something beautiful and sturdy that she could keep forever.
That day, Khloe Kares was born.
Khloe and her great-grandmother quickly began designing and sewing the “Kare Bags.” Once they packed the bags with supplies, Khloe and Alisha filled up the car and drove around to find homeless women in their area.
At first, Alisha was a little nervous about her daughter personally handing out the Kare Bags. Strangers are strangers, after all, and Khloe was her little girl. But she quickly realized Khloe’s special ability to quickly connect with people and put them at ease. Every time Khloe approached a woman, she smiled, introduced herself, explained what’s inside the Kare Bag, and treated them like any other person deserving of kindness and courtesy.
Often, the women thanked her. Sometimes, they even asked to give her a hug.
“Whenever someone gives me a hug or says thank you, it’s pretty much like paying for everything I’ve done,” says Khloe. “Giving me a hug is like $1,000 to me.”
Soon, Khloe’s friends joined in, too. The Khloe Kares movement quickly picked up pace and even drew media attention, both locally and nationally.
As time went on, Khloe and Alisha realized that they needed a way to raise money for the items they included in Kare Bags. That’s when they started their first GoFundMe.
Soon after they started the campaign for Khloe Kares, a woman donated $100. “I was so happy and excited I almost screamed,” says Khloe. “The woman wrote that she loved what I was doing and I’m a great kid. It was one of the best days of my life.”
Now, almost two years since starting Khloe Kares, Khloe has made and handed out over 1,000 Kare Bags to homeless women in her area.
Along the way, she has inspired countless others—including her own mom. “We all want to give back now because of her,” says Alisha. “I hope that more parents listen to their kids and support their ideas. Kids are the reason why a lot of things are changing in our world.”
Khloe Kares has also opened new doors for Khloe. A girls school in Ghana invited her to speak at their school and lead an empowerment workshop. Friends and strangers reached out with encouragement, to lend support, and to ask Khloe’s advice about how they could give back, too.
Recently, the girls clothing brand Justice invited Khloe to be part of their “Girls with Heart” program and meet other girls who are living their lives positively, creatively, and actively. While at a Justice conference, Khloe participated in a service project at Nationwide Children’s Hospital with five other girls. They bonded instantly over their shared interest in giving back and dubbed themselves Squad6.