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Kids embrace the spirit of giving

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So far, Minga has raised $40,000, the rehab center has been completed, and the group is working with other partners in Guatemala, Thailand, and Boston.

Katie spends between 20 and 30 hours a week in the work, and says it's well worth it: "I've discovered my own power to change the world, and have connected to some awesome people. I've seen the good side of everybody – it's amazing."

Last month, Katie won a Global Action Award given to young leaders by the international relief group Mercy Corps.

Technology, too, has helped breed this new generation of givers and social entrepreneurs. The Web facilitates global communication and network-building as well as ease in donating.

Talia Leman, an Iowa teen, got her feet wet in philanthropy after hurricane Katrina. At age 10, she started a project called TLC – trick or treat for the levee catastrophe. She wrote a news release on lined paper and sent it to TV stations, urging kids to ask for loose change on Halloween as well as candy. With the help of an adult friend who set up a website, she connected with children in 4,000 school districts across the United States. They raised $10 million, what ABC News said was equal to the giving power of the top five US corporations.

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