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Sioux Falls Boy Wins Prestigious Award

06/27/2016 10:15AM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Desiree Rohrbach, ‘Hood Intern 


Nolan is the president of the Sioux Falls chapter of ‘Simon Says Give.’ Joining the organization was a decision he made after meeting 12-year-old Mandi Simon, the founder of the charity. Nolan knows that not all kids have the same advantages and he wanted to make a difference.


After contacting several Sioux Falls organizations and coming up with a plan on how he could make a difference, Nolan got a group of kids together to fill backpacks with school supplies. In addition to the backpacks, Nolan’s group put together birthday boxes for parents of children in need. The boxes included everything needed to throw a party from cake to candles, even decorations and invitations. They also provided one gift that a child might need and one they could have fun with.


 Nolan says the most difficult part of the whole experience was raising awareness; they need parents and teachers to let them know when a child is in need and volunteers to help make it happen. In order to spread awareness for the fundraiser, they formed a marketing team led by Nolan’s 12-year-old brother, Jonah. They made posters, wrote letters and posted to social media about the fundraising and donation drives. 


“Basically we just kept sharing our mission and good things happened,” said Nolan. “The best part was being able to work with my siblings and friends and seeing the excited faces of the kids getting the gifts.”


With one prestigious award under his belt, Nolan has even more ideas for ways he can help out. The Flemings keep a “big idea bucket” in their home. While some ideas might be a bit difficult to pull off now, they have it written down as something they might be able to accomplish in the future. 


“We think that no idea is too big,” said Nolan.


When asked what other kids could do if they wanted to make a difference, Nolan offers this advice: “Start small, but think big! Don't stop trying, even if you fail. Find good people to help you. Count on your family and friends. Have fun!”

Today, Community giving back