Kara Brant’s personality dances like the flame on a wick and the impact she is having on others reaches much further than the glow of one of her homemade candles.
The Northwood fifth-grader is helping to alleviate poverty through each candle she sells and in just six months Brant has proven that the creativity and compassion of a child can make a difference. When you ask Brant how she came up with the idea to make candles, sell them and donate a portion of the money to Compassion International, she seems puzzled at the idea that the concept could come from any other place than where it came from.
“Just God gave it to me,” a smiling Brant said.
Brant, 10, was introduced to candle making through a class project where students had an opportunity to make candles as Christmas presents for family and friends. Brant loved the activity and figured she could not only start her own candle making business, but help other kids in the process.
“One day I was in the grocery store with my mom…and I thought of this really great idea that God gave to me,” Brant said. “I called it Light Candle Action.”
Each candle sells for $15, with $5 of each purchase going to Compassion International. Brant has donated over $500 and has already begun to expand her product line with Care Cubes, wax cubes that release a scent as they melt.
Making candles is no easy task as just gathering the necessary supplies can be a challenge.
“You have to get a pot, a little pan, a thermometer, a mixer, wax, scents, the jars to put the wax in, the wicks, just a lot of stuff,” Brant said. “It’s tiring.”
With the help of her parents, Brant melts the wax before adding scents and pouring the wax into a glass container. She has several scents and colors to choose from – Apple Harvest is her favorite if she’s forced to pick – and each candle is wrapped in ribbon, includes a charm and Brant’s trademark slogan: “Each time you light your candle you are taking action to make the world a better place.”
Brant’s grandfather, Ross Hill, has done some work for Compassion International, which is how she got the idea to donate to the Christian child advocacy organization. However, after sending off her first donation she received an unexpected call from Wesley Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion, who told Brant her work was making a difference for children all over the world that struggled with poverty.
“I was surprised,” Brant said about Stafford’s call. “He took out his time, because he is always busy and traveling, and I felt very special that he did that for me.”
Brant also received a photo of a child in Taiwan her money has helped and she has been able to write letters to a girl in the Dominican Republic that she hopes to someday visit.
“They don’t really have water or they don’t get very much food,” Brant said about the children her candles help. “I found out that when I donated the money it buys the food for them to eat.”
Brant is also learning how to run a business as she learns how to track inventory and supplies, manage a bank account and market her company. Brant has also learned what it takes to run a website as her company’s site, www.lightcandleaction.com, provides another outlet to purchase candles and find out more about the children she helps.
Brant, who is ambitious and personable, has a list of professions she would like to have when she grows up, which range from a singer, an architect, or even a teacher. After the last few months Brant has added a candle maker to the list of possibilities, but whatever she ends of becoming, her passion for helping others will no doubt shine through.