Since winning our LEAD360 Ideas Contest in last year, Payton & Reagan set out to impact thousands of youth across the country one bucket at a time. We caught up with Payton & Reagan to see how they’re doing after a year of activation!

For people who don’t know, what is Buckets of Love?

“Buckets of Love Foundation is 5013c in Delaware that was started in June 2017 by me and my sister Payton. At the time we were 11 and 6 years old with a BIG idea. We wanted to give back to deserving kids “one bucket at a time.” The buckets are packed with age-appropriate toys for kids’ ages 2-12 years old. The buckets are designed to give encouragement and support to kids who are going through tough times.”

You girls set an ambitious goal to have at least one Bucket of Love packed and donated in each state. Was there ever a time when you doubted your ability to reach your goal? How did you overcome that doubt?

Reagan – “We set the goal when we were already 4-months into our 10-month title as LEAD360 national winners. I remember the day when we delivered a speech in Washington, DC at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony. We set BIG goals of 10K buckets and at least one in every state. So, once we said it we knew we had to do it…and do it quickly. I didn’t doubt our ability to reach our goals but was worried about having enough time to pull it off. When I got worried if we could accomplish the 50-state goal I reminded myself of why we were doing this project – and that kept us going. We also knew that even if we didn’t reach the goal, we were still going to help A LOT of kids.”

Payton – “No, when we started the project I knew we had to set a big goal. I knew we needed to challenge ourselves and that we could do anything that we set our minds to.”

Why was it important for you to have BOL in every state?

Payton – “We knew that there are not just deserving kids in Delaware that should receive BOL but there are kids all over the country.”

Reagan – “The thing that mattered the most to us was having a far-reaching impact on kids in all corners of the country. We also wanted BOL to stand out from other winning LEAD360 projects by being the first project to be activated in all 50-states.”

How have you matured or become smarter, stronger, better as a result of winning the LEAD360 challenge?

Payton – “When we won the LEAD360 Challenge we started to give speeches for big crowds and be on the news – at first this was scary for me but then it got easier, and now I really like to do these things.”

Reagan – Since winning the LEAD360 Challenge I have learned so many things. I am a better speaker, communicator and see the importance of handwritten thank you cards – and we have written A LOT. I learned that social media is a powerful tool to connect with people and share our mission. We have learned that we have a lot of support from family, friends and the Jefferson Awards Foundation. We could not have accomplished this without each of our supporters. We also learned that there are far more people in need than we imagined.

What is your plan for continuing to impact the lives of kids with Buckets of Love?

“Our goals for 2019 are to reach the 10K bucket goal, to meet ELLEN, and to find grants and corporate sponsors to help us reach and grow our goals and impact.”

What would you say to people who think kids can’t make a difference in the world?

Reagan – “I do not think age is important when we talk about making a difference. If we find common goals adults and kids can work together to accomplish so much more. One of my favorite events was when we activated Buckets of Love with adults at the Jefferson Awards Foundation Champions program in Washington, DC. The next day we activated the project with kids from Student in Action Teams from across the country.

What was it like to collaborate with adults on such a big project?

Payton – “We met some amazing people who helped us!”