Volunteer Profile: Tia DiMartino Most 10-year-olds spend their free time watching television or playing video games, but Tia DiMartino is no ordinary 10-year-old. While competing in the National American Miss Georgia Pageant, she was inspired to get more involved in her community. However, when DiMartino and her mom searched the internet to find youth volunteer opportunities in Cherokee County, they struggled to find local organizations that allowed kids to participate.DiMartino decided that if a resource didn’t exist, she would be the one to create it. Since she is a home-schooled student, her mom adapted her curriculum to include learning about finding a domain name, creating a business plan, and designing a website, and VolunteerKid.org was born!In its first phase, DiMartino’s VolunteerKid project aims to encourage kids who are already volunteering to share their stories to inspire other kids to get involved. The stories are bookmarked into categories, so that those who have a passion for a particular type of service can easily find examples of how they could pursue their area of interest. DiMartino has also included an invitation to adults involved with organizations that accept youth volunteers both locally and across the country to connect with VolunteerKid, so she can promote their organizations during phase 2 of her business plan. In phase 2, she hopes to roll out an interactive map on her website, so kids can click their state to learn more about opportunities near them.In the meantime, DiMartino has learned that action is everything, and she challenges herself to get involved with as many of the organizations VolunteerKid promotes as possible, so she can speak to her peers from experience. In the next few months, she’s looking forward to helping sort donated food at a local food drive, making blankets with friends for foster children, decorating for the holidays at the HopeQuest Addiction Treatment Center, spending a day doing yardwork at a local senior’s home through the BeRich.org initiative, and wrapping holiday gifts at the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. December 18 is Wreaths Across America’s national wreath laying day, and DiMartino will be at Canton’s beautiful Georgia National Cemetery to help decorate the graves of her grandpa and other brave soldiers.The pandemic has impacted some families’ comfort levels regarding volunteering, so VolunteerKid is featuring two ongoing at-home volunteer projects as well. The HeartScent Project needs kids to cut and sew cloth hearts for Northside Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These hearts provide an opportunity for newborns to bond with their parents through scent and are inexpensive and easy to make. Kids can also create uplifting cards, notes, and artwork to be distributed by a local hospice and senior care consultant to area seniors in need of a positive message and a little love during these difficult times.Please visit VolunteerKid.org to learn more about these and other projects and to learn how you can get involved.