How this teen gave a TEDx Talk and changed the world


photo credit Tracy Page

What if I told you that a kid as young as four years old has what it takes to change the world? That’s exactly how old Aidan Thomas was when he told his mother that he wanted to be a “difference maker” and that he wasn’t going to wait until he grew up to do it.

Aidan made good on his word soon after this remarkable statement when while sitting, bored, in an Atlanta restaurant he got up from the table and went outside the restrooms where he pulled out a toy harmonica from his pocket and began to play a happy little song he made up. He absentmindedly tossed his fedora hat to the chair next to him and promptly got lost in the music. When he was finished, he ended up with a pile of bills totaling $80. He had no idea about busking so he thought, “I made $80 for taking my hat off.”

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Photo Credit: Joshua McFadden / The King Center

What he did next will blow your mind. Aidan Thomas, now 14 years old, donated every last cent to purchase more than 300 pills to help kids in Africa fight intestinal parasites. He read a story about their plight and it stuck in his mind. He has been giving ever since.

He and his Mom hit the road and since that fateful night have served and shared 1,000’s of hours to make a difference at shelters, schools, non-profits, hospitals, VA services and more. The teenager has given a TEDx Talk to describe his awareness initiative, Aidan Cares, where he promotes his musical chops and his public speaking skills to help fund his mission to teach kids and families all over the world how to give locally, nationally, and internationally where gives fantastic tips like this:


Probably the most marvelous element to Aidan’s story is his indefatigable determination to spread the message of selflessness and philanthropy no mater how little material extras one has. Time, love, listening, empathy, knowledge, and action are all free and Aidan wants us all to be ready and willing to give them away in abundance to help the world around us. His mission is to share the joy and necessity of giving to all ages.

Check out what he had to say at his first TEDx Talk.

Coming up on Aidan’s horizon is a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak in front of a delegation of Chinese dignitaries in San Francisco – where Aidan will work his charismatic personality to convince them to help change the world through his mission.

For more information or to follow this remarkable young man, you can follow Aidan on Twitter.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.