Jefferson Award Winner, January 2018: Izzy Zahn

COTTAGE GROVE (WKOW) — 11-year-old Izzy Zahn is a remarkable kid and she proves that you can truly make a difference at any age.

Her mom, Jessica Grann, says Izzy has a huge heart.

"One night my dad showed me a 60 Minutes video," says Izzy. "From there I wanted to help."

That video showed how the Make-A-Wish Foundation serves children with critical illnesses and Izzy wanted to be a part of it.

"She made this (photography) book as a gift for her family," says her dad Paul. "She said, ‘Well, can we use that and get the book out there for people to see and do something with it at the same time?"

Izzy put together those books of her own photography, when she was just 9 years old, called Izzy’s Books for Wishes.

"My parents always said I had a great eye." 

She spends nights and weekends at local stores selling them for $36 each to raise money for Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.

"Putting something I love toward helping another person, someone who has a life threatening medical condition, just makes it even more special."

"You hear when people say someone’s wise beyond their years. She truly is," says Rebecca Hildebrandt with Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. "She’s just one of those kids that everyone feels good to be around her."

In a matter of months, Izzy raised $6,600, enough to send her classmate, Aubrey Poole and her family, to Disney World.

"It felt really good, because I accomplished my goal and they really did deserve it, because of everything that Aubrey has been through, says Izzy."

"As a parent, you’re just so proud that they want to do something for somebody other than themselves," says Jessica.

Now, Izzy is helping 4 year old Amelia Miller.

Amelia’s mom, Kelly, describes her condition.

"She was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She had pretty low odds for surviving, but by some miracle, she’s still here."

Amelia and her family will also be heading to Disney World next month, thanks to Izzy.

She’s nearly raised another $6,700 dollars, bringing her total to more than $13,000 raised. 

"There are so many things that kind of ruin your faith in humanity right now," says Kelly Miller. "But, when an 11-year-old is spending her weekends raising money for our family to have the trip of a lifetime, it’s pretty humbling."

"As an organization we have over 6,000 volunteers in the state of Wisconsin," says Rebecca.  "The fact that we have an 11-year-old who has sponsored two full wishes is incredible"

Izzy is making wishes come true and has some words of wisdom for giving back.

"Could be big, it could be small. Doesn’t really matter, just help."

CLICK HERE to be redirected to Izzy’s fundraising site.



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