The Cousins That Care are 7 kids, yes they are all cousins, that have found many ways to bring smiles to people that are sick, injured or have had a natural disaster or tragedy affect them. It all began in February 2008 when the Pink Ribbon Riders held their annual Snow Run at The Ole Barn in Inlet, NY. The Pink Ribbon Riders main focus is to raise money for breast cancer research. Melanie Levi, then age 9, got close to the organization and after the event was over, she decided she wanted to help raise money for people in need. She called upon her cousins and asked if they wanted to come aboard and help her. They all eagerly agreed. The Cousins That Care are Founder Melanie Levi, Shelby Townsend, Shawn Hansen, Laura Levi, Britney Levi, Cory Hansen and Thomas Levi. The cousins range in age 10-16, to date.
In order to raise funds to donate, they make homemade bracelets that they sell at their grandparent’s restaurant The Ole Barn in Inlet, New York. They hold spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, they have TV raffles and attend local fairs and festivals. You can catch the Cousins marching in every local parade. Every summer they hold a 5k run/walk fundraiser as well. At Christmastime, they make beautiful homemade centerpieces and sell them in the center of town. Community members look forward to this year after year. New this year, they are making homemade personalized name signs. Since the beginning, they have raised over $40,000 and that number continues to grow! One of their favorite charities to donate to is Zippy’s Crusade for Kids. Zippy’s Crusade For Kids is a charity snowmobile ride put on by Greg and Nan Zipadelli to raise funds for kids in need. It is a two-day event filled with NASCAR celebrities, fun, riding, raffles, auction, great food, good times and all in the name of charity. All proceeds go directly to fund organizations that help children. The Cousins That Care also send checks to kids and adults alike that have been strickened by illness and/or tragedy. Just recently, they sent a letter and donation to each and every family of a child that was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, CT. One of the families, the Bacon family, were so touched by the letter and donation that they nominated the Cousins for the Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award. They were given a certificate, a beautiful trophy, a trip to Boston, MA and $1000 to donate to the charity of their choice as a pay it forward action. This Spring, the Cousins will be giving out two (2) $250 scholarships to graduating seniors at the Town of Webb High School at graduation. The graduates had to write an essay explaining how they have displayed acts of kindness. In Fall 2014, The Cousins were asked to appear in the LOCALadk magazine Winter 2014 issue. That story can be found at http://www.LOCALadk.com.
Well there you have it, a small summary of what the Cousins That Care are all about. We look forward to raising more money to help others in need. Please look for us at local events and please support our cause. If you would like to make a donation please visit our Donate page.