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Our History

Bill and Laura Grindle – Founders of See Kids Dream

See Kids Dream was founded locally by Bill and Laura Grindle. The couple has two children and share a passion for community involvement and youth engagement.

They believe that children have a natural capacity for both compassion and leadership… and feel that all children deserve the opportunity to experience the joy that comes from helping others.

The idea for See Kids Dream started with a conversation that founders, Bill and Laura Grindle had about their early experiences with volunteering. While growing up, Bill spent many hours volunteering with his family and friends. Laura on the other hand, had very little opportunity to volunteer in her community while she was young. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she was able to volunteer through her church and in her community. During their conversation about these different experiences, Laura and Bill discussed how critical an early volunteer experience can be in positively shaping a person’s view of themselves and the world around them… “when you can give something of yourself… and you see how much it matters to the other… then no matter what your situation or challenge in life, you have proof… that you are valuable and that you have something important to contribute… and how empowering is that?!!” From that conversation, they committed that someday, they would find a way to make more opportunities available for kids to experience the power of giving.

Several years and many conversations later, Bill was working for a client in New York, when he met Teddy Gross, the co-founder of Common Cents. Teddy shared his story of how he and his daughter helped a homeless man by donating their spare change; and eventually developed a service learning program called Penny Harvest, where kids collect spare change, explore community needs, and find ways to help. Right after the meeting, Bill called Laura and said, “I think I just met someone who can help us provide volunteer opportunities for kids in Columbus!” It took another 2 years of planning, testing and building community support for the project, before See Kids Dream officially became a nonprofit organization in 2008 and kicked off the first Penny Harvest programs in 7 central Ohio schools.

Student Leaders at our very first year-end community showcase event in 2008!

Since that first year, See Kids Dream has continued to expand its outreach to tens of thousands of youth across Central Ohio. In collaboration with local educators, after-school partners and a network of supportive not-for-profit organizations, See Kids Dream continues to develop unique programs, curriculum and resources to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to gain the skills, motivation and confidence to make our world a better place.