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Caleb and Joshua Oh started their own volunteer group to connect kids to the community

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 07:25:28-04

GAMBRILLS, Md. — 17-year-old Caleb Oh and his brother, 14-year-old Joshua Oh, have never changed a diaper on their own, but they have collected and distributed a lot of diapers over the last couple of years to families in need.

"We distributed over 100,000 diapers and menstrual products with a bunch of high school students and middle school students helping to volunteer," said Caleb.

It's one of the many projects the brothers do through their volunteer group Kid Changemakers, which they started when they were in elementary school.

"We were discouraged by the lack of opportunities set out for youth. A lot of organizations like soup kitchens, food pantries had age restrictions, so we created our own service opportunities," Caleb said.

They started off by bagging lunches for homeless and women's shelters, enlisting their friends and classmates to help. Their efforts grew as they began collaborating with other non-profits. One such collaboration is with Stitches of Kindness, which makes homemade items like hats, scarves and pillow cases to give to people in need.

"I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award," said Wendy Preslan, the founder of Stitches of Kindness. "Not only do they help the community, but they inspire other people to want to help the community."

This year, the brothers' goodwill extended into the political realm. They wrote letters to state lawmakers in support of a bill that would eliminate the sales and use tax on baby products like diapers. Sen. Sarah Elfreth responded and asked Caleb if he would testify in a virtual hearing about SB-316. He said at first he didn't want to do it because of nerves, but he decided to set his fears aside.

"When presented with such a unique opportunity with Kid Changemakers, I find that the potential difference that something can make, far outweighs my fears or personal preferences."

The bill passed the General Assembly and it is set to take effect in July.

"The diaper tax has been there for awhile so I wasn’t expecting an immediate yes but I was happy when it passed and its helped a lot of people," said Joshua.

And so long as there is a need to fulfill, a person to help, a cause to support, the Oh brothers will be there, changing their community for the better and encouraging others to do the same.

"It is something I like to do but when these people say really kind messages, it shows that I’m actually doing something," said Joshua.

"It is humbling, first seeing your impact in the community but also seeing how much more you can do," said Caleb. "Service is a lifelong commitment. It's a journey and I still think we’re at the beginning of our journey."

For more information about Kid Changemakers and how you can help the Oh brothers, click here.