We’ve known for quite sometime that there is no age minimum when it comes to big ideas that can change the world, and at just 7 years old, Mandi Simon knew she wanted to make a difference in the lives of other children.
In 2011, Mandi presented a business plan to her mom Dina, to start a business that could raise money to help kids in need. “For years Mandi asked for donations for her birthday instead of gifts, but when she came up with the idea of starting a business, had a business plan, and could actually conduct a 10 minute interview with all her plans, we knew we had to take her seriously,” Dina explains on the organization’s website.
So, with a plan in place, they started a car-washing business to raise money. As the weeks and months progressed, Mandi’s passion for helping others became contagious and other kids joined in to help her out. It wasn’t long before Simon Says Give was born.
“Simon Says Give is a company that I started because I wanted a better world for people to live in.”
The focus of the non-profit is to celebrate kids by helping them celebrate their birthdays. Simon Says Give contributes a party as well as two gifts – something the child needs, and something that the child wants for fun. In addition, the organization honors Mandi’s August birthday by hosting a school supply drive to provide as many kids as possible with the tools they require to go back-to-school.
“I think it is really important for every kid to have one day, or at least a few hours to celebrate themselves,” Mandi has said in previous interviews.
Over the past four years, the organization has thrown birthday parties for 500 kids in need, between the ages of five and twelve. Of the 500 parties thrown, Mandi has attended about 100 of them. With an eye on the future, Simon Says Give hopes to impact 2 million kids by the year 2022.
This past February, Mandi was one of twenty-five people named a Jefferson Awards Foundation GlobeChanger for her “exemplary work in the fields of public service, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Mandi wants people to know that “Simon Says Give is a company that I started because I wanted a better world for people to live in.”