Reporting Ukee Washington
By Ukee Washington
BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – Two years ago, we introduced you to a Bucks County couple on a mission to help kids. The couple sponsored classes, like karate and dance. We caught up with Michele and Gene Rice last week. Their foundation, Plant A Seed, helped pay for lessons for 80 children last year, giving needy kids fertile ground to grow.
Meet Sarah and Kate Yilmaz, 13-year-old ballet students.
“We like to pirouette!” said Kate.
Victoria Yilmaz, their mother, said, “On Tuesdays they know that we have dance tonight, and they go and get their stuff on and say, ‘When are we leaving?!’ They’re so excited!
Sarah exclaimed, “Because we’re the ballerinas!”
Sarah and Kate are on the autism spectrum. They’re getting these classes through the Plant a Seed Foundation, a program started by Gene and Michele Rice of Bucks County to help kids in need.
“We take it upon ourselves to find that activity, that positive mentor, that role model, that sensei, that dance instructor, that will connect with that child,” said Gene.
Sarah and Kate’s big brother, 15-year-old Mursell, had to drop karate. Now he’s back in classes thanks to Plant a Seed.
“This Plant A Seed really helped me out a lot,” Mursell said.
We first met Michele and Gene two years ago, watching Mateo Sanders getting the karate lessons their foundation arranged. A few weeks ago, Michele and Gene were featured as heroes in People Magazine, and Mateo was with them.
“Mateo is doing great,” Michele said. “Mateo has really coming out of his shell to say the least!”
And the publicity has brought attention from all over the country.
Gene and Michele don’t always get to meet their students, but they got to meet the Yilmaz family, and they’re looking for more families to help.
“In the economic condition right now, there’s are a lot of families that are hurting. We don’t want those kids not to get involved,” Gene said.
Gene and Michele are looking for volunteers to help drive kids to activities. If you can help, or have a child in need of an activity, contact Plant a Seed Foundation at (215) 860-8403 or through their website, http://plantaseedfoundation.org/.