Harry Connick, Jr. gives $15K to Tampa teen's charity

- A teen turned her medical challenges into a passion for helping others, collecting gifts for hospitalized children. 

Caitlin Shannon is on a very important gift-collecting mission. She picked up gifts from Dr. Lisa Brown who is donating to Caitlin's non-profit, Sparkle Power.

"When we met Caitlin she was amazing. The humility that she shows, helping these children, and we're happy to give in any way that we can," Dr. Brown said.

Sparkle Power gives presents to children who are in the hospital.

"I really just did it because I wanted to do something for the other patients that I was spending time with," Caitlin said.

She started Sparkle Power two years ago and, since then, has given away more than 500 goody bags.

"It's been incredible to meet so many amazing kids and it's honestly so inspiring to share their stories and to actually meet them in real life and give them a goody bag is an incredible feeling," Caitlin said.

Her effort won her national attention. Earlier this year she appeared on the Harry Connick, Jr. television show to talk about her program. 

"I was definitely a little bit nervous because I didn't know that there would be a live audience but once I got out of the set and met Harry he made me feel so comfortable," Caitlin explained.

She hopes her movement leaves a lasting impression on her peers.

"I hope that when other kids my age see what I am doing that they can realize that you can really touch the lives of others even with just a simple idea," Caitlin said.

Hasbro Toy company and the Harry Connick Jr. show donated $15,000 worth of toys to Caitlin's charity. For more information, visit http://facebook.com/sparklepowerofficial

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Harry Connick, Jr. gives $15K to Tampa teen's charity
  • Bay Area collegiate swimmer encourages kids to get in the water
  • Children's Cancer Center gives families a place to escape
  • What's Right with Tampa Bay: Operation Military Matters
  • Bayou Nature Center connects children with nature
  • Creative writing workshops for kids promote literacy
  • Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony win big in Vegas
  • Son honor's father's legacy of volunteering
  • Christmas in July benefits young patients
  • "Backpacks of Hope" for students in need of school supplies