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About the Big Return

How did it start?

16 year old Talia Leman, founder of RandomKid spoke in St. Louis a little over a year ago. At the age of 10 she started a campaign to raise money for Katrina victims. By the end, she had mobilized so many kids that together they raised over 10 million dollars to support the cause. This made them the 5th largest contributor to Katrina relief.

When Talia came to St. Louis she talked about the power of anyone to create change in their community and the world. She challenged St. Louis to stand up and take action to encourage youth in their communities to act. After she spoke, she was approached by many motivated members of the community and together they developed the concept of The Big Return.


What are some examples of projects and enterprises that youth might launch?

Note that these are just examples. Most schools will come up with their own plans to launch their project around six issue areas. (link to the issue areas on the last page) We encourage schools to use existing projects that they have going on or for teams to come up with their own unique ideas for projects that don’t relate to the predetermined six issue areas.

    Support Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Mobilize the entire school to bring in items that animals need such as blankets, leashes, food, etc. On one day in January organize a group from the schools to visit the shelter and spend the day walking dogs and attending to the animals.
    Support tornado victims in the state of MO. At a school assembly show news casts that reflect the difficulties families faced this summer. Motivate everyone in the school to come together to raise money to support the rebuilding of one of their homes. To do this, numerous schools across the St. Louis area may sell and brand an interesting product (the community will give the funds to buy the product at cost), or hold bake sales and other events to raise the funds to rebuild a family’s home.


Why is this campaign called “The Big Return”?

RandomKid and Ashoka have found that a young person will leverage the investment you make in them by using it to raise more funds for their cause or create a greater impact.


How does it work for St. Louis?



Are you an educator or organization wanting to get involved?