By Akira Barclay, NY Contributor
Six-year old philanthropist Blake Ansari is a young leader wise beyond his years. After reading about Dasani, and her life as a homeless child in the New York Times, the elementary school student decided he wanted to start a book drive. With the support of his parents Nuri and M. Starita Boyce Ansari, Blake began collecting books to donate to homeless children on Valentine’s Day. He started by asking a few of his classmates at Metropolitan Montessori School of New York to join him. Within days, he had collected more than 100 books. Over the next few weeks, he rallied donations from friends and family across the tri-state area including Mr. Robert Gore and City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal. Ultimately, Blake was able to give more than 600 books to the youth at NYC’s Department of Homeless Services Prevention Assistance & Temporary Housing (PATH).
Blake shared with BlackGivesBack what drives his philanthropic spirit:
What inspired you to make a donation of books to homeless children?
The story in the newspaper about homeless children. They don't have libraries. I want them to read everyday so they can become excellent readers. I want them to go to college and get good jobs. Then they can buy a home and their children will not be homeless. I want them to be happy and build their brains.
Why do you think it is important to give back to your community?
I want everyone to be safe and happy. I am also concerned about the environment and want the Chinese to stop poaching in Africa. That is why I want to be a veterinarian to save the animals and protect the environment.
Who is your hero?
I have lots of heroes. A few are Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Malcolm X, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Muhammad Ali, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Maria Montessori, Rosa Parks, Dr. Mae Jemison, Dr. Mark Dean and many more people.
What advice would you give to other young people who want to help their communities?
When you listen to your community, learn from your community and help your community you connect to your best self.
Way to go Blake!