Abigail Lupi is now 17 years old and lives in Stockholm, NJ. She thinks of herself as an actor, a wordsmith, a black belt competitor, and as a nerd. Her desire to entertain began when she was three years old. She began by making up shows for her family.
She was in an off Broadway production as Cinderella, participated in regional theater productions, and was making national television commercials for companies such as Toys R Us. At the age of 8 she began an organization she called CareGirlz.
To do what Abigail set out to do shows that she is a very compassionate and confident young lady. Here’s what she did: her grandmother was in a nursing home and was about to have her 100th birthday, you don’t get to be 100 every day, so Abigail decided she wanted to do something special for her.
Even at this young age she recognized that the people in these facilities were sometimes very lonely and many had very few visitors if any. Her plan was to entertain her grandmother and the other 50 or so residents at the nursing home. So, Abigail, age 8, recruited her younger sister, then about 6, to help with the celebration. They sang Broadway show tunes and danced. Abigail played the piano and told some jokes. They enjoyed making the residents happy.
The next year for her grandmother’s 101st birthday she added two more girls to the entertainment team and that was when she created the charity CareGirlz because as she puts it, “ we are all girls and we care.”
Abigail began contacting more girls from shows and talent competitions. For her grandmother’s 102nd birthday, she made it bigger. Seven CareGirlz performed and for grandmother’s 103rd birthday there were thirteen members ages six to thirteen who made up the cast. They expanded their performances and played in hospitals and children’s hospitals to make sick children happy.
Abigail took on the duties of song selection and choreography of the dances. Each girl made her own costumes and the troupe had at least four rehearsals before each show. The girls had a repertoire of 90 different pop and Broadway show tunes and performed 20 shows touching over 1000 people and raising over $3000 to support CareGirlz.
These CareGirlz had made quite a commitment for such a young age. Why did they assume such a role? They enjoyed making the residents and patients happy. Abigail has been quoted as saying “I like to brighten up peoples’ days and help them have a fun time. If I do my best, they’ll have a smile on their faces by the end.”
I love this story because, Inspire a kid is values-based. We believe that there are basic core human values that are global. They are values that actually define and direct society in a positive way. Values that are building blocks for healthy kids, families, schools, cities, and countries.
Abigail reflects at least 6 of the Inspire a Kid values.
She reflects Compassion- she saw the loneliness of the residents in her grandmother’s nursery facility and wanted to do something about it.
She reflects Courage- this is where most people, let alone kids, would quit. Abigail wasn’t scared to get in front of people she didn’t know and try to make them happy.
She reflects Kindness- its one thing to feel compassion and even recognize a need, but its another thing altogether to act on it. Her kindness to the nursing home residents, hospitals, and children’s hospitals all for the purpose of a smile and a little bit brighter day.
She reflects Generosity- generosity with her time. Putting together the shows, learning the routines, practicing and making costumes takes time and a lot of it. She and her friends gave over 400 hours of serving her community… that is the equivalent of working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 10 weeks- FOR FREE!
She reflects considerable Responsibility- as she schedules shows, organizes friends, and takes on the director roll for the whole thing.. that’s a lot of responsibility for a 9, 10, 11 year old!
She reflects Creativity- it takes creativity to take a thought like “We will go sing a song at the nursing home for grandma” and turn it into “we are going to create an organization and put on a broadway type show for a bunch of people in nursing homes and hospitals.”
In 2011, Abigail won the President’s Volunteer Award for humanitarian work in founding CareGirlz and for modeling boundless volunteer service for her many hours serving community and country. She was the 2011 Kohl’s Cares Regional Scholarship winner and was honored as 2011 Young Scholar Ambassador by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. She was also recognized in “This Girl Makes a Difference”, an article in Parenting magazine. In another article, “Eight Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference”, Abigail was cited as an example of “how one child can inspire and energize thousands to make a difference.”
Abigail Lupi is a great kid who did great things and inspired others to greatness along the way. Who are you inspiring to greatness today?
Well, Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Until next time, Go and Inspire!