Emilia KnudsenAmazing Emilia Knudsen

Inspiration can come from any age or demographic. When traveling, we have been blessed to come across some amazing people. One such person is Emilia Knudsen, a 14-year-old from Kapa’a, Kaua’i who has been doing community service for most of her life. Early in the pandemic, at the age of 12, she raised funds to open a free food pantry in her community. That year, she also applied for and received a grant to buy Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children. They just had to go to the food pantry and write down on a list what they wanted for Christmas. For her efforts, Emilia has received the Prudential Spirit Of Community Awards’ Certificate of Excellence, which recognizes the top student volunteers in the state of Hawai’i, and the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award, a prestigious award presented by the U.S. President.

We met Emilia at Christmas craft fair last month selling her Kaua‘i Sea Glass Art and Jewelry to raise money to provide Christmas gifts for children. We found her to be quite engaging and spoke with her for several minutes. Emilia shared with us that she has also created and is running a competition for junior high school students to get involved in the community. She believes the pandemic has been detrimental for teenagers who have spent so much time in their homes and on their computers – isolated from people. To address that issue, she put together the competition and has secured many amazing prizes for the participants. Her goal is to get students outdoors and give them something positive to look forward to.

Emilia’s spirit has no limits. Her giving heart is inspiring. If you share her love for helping others, Volunteer Network OC can help you. With our mobile app, you can find a volunteer opportunity and sign up within minutes. You too can make a difference in the lives of others.