13-year-old philanthropist’s ‘hidden treasures’ support COVID-impacted locals

in Community

The shutdown’s economic toll definitely registered with Olivia Sze, an eighth-grader at Crocker School in Hillsborough.

Wanting to help others, she cleaned out toys and other items she no longer needed but might be right for someone else. This became her inspiration for the creation of a fundraiser, using the NextDoor platform, to get other people in the San Mateo/Burlingame area to donate items and then to find buyers for them.

The 13-year-old philanthropist created quite an impressive website at www.HiddenTreasuresFundraiser.com to feature the recycled items neighbors contributed – Barbies, Legos, books, action figures and household items like curtains and aprons. Olivia took the photographs of the items and wrote the postings.  She also did any required touch-up and cleaning to get the items into shape for selling.

In less than two months, she managed to collect $1,085 for the San Mateo County Strong Fund, to which the San Mateo County Credit Union in Redwood City added $500.

“All of us at SMCU are so inspired by Olivia’s passion and enthusiasm for our community,” said Credit Union President Wade Painter.

The youngest of three children, Olivia says the fundraiser was a lot more successful than she thought it would be. She ended up selling over 100 items from 25 donors.

“The experience was really great,” she adds, “because I got to meet so many in my community who were really generous and very supportive.”

This story was originally published in the November edition of Climate Magazine. To view the magazine online, click on this link.