Happy Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month! All kids deserve kind, safe, welcoming places to grow.

Youth Making a Difference

Simone and Eliana Pierotti lead the way on an inspiring endeavor ­—youth philanthropy. The sisters, Simone age 10 and Eliana 13, jointly raised and donated over $1,000 in support of children’s mental health at Washburn Center for Children.

Six years ago, their family established an endowment fund in memory of their grandma Patricia Klibanoff to support Washburn Center’s postdoctoral fellowship program. Since then, the girls have annually participated in the Washburn Games and found other ways to stay involved. “It’s important to support mental health,” Simone explained. “Some kids might have trouble in school, making friends or getting a job if they don’t have help.”

During Eliana’s Bat Mitzvah weekend, friends and family flew in from around the country not only to honor her but also the work she supports. The girls and more than 20 guests toured Washburn Center’s new facility. Eliana suggested that instead of gifts, friends and family donate to nonprofit organizations, including Washburn Center.

Cropped Klibanoff


Simone started her philanthropy work in earnest after attending The Washburn Games. She had the goal of raising $100 or more, but wasn’t going to take the easy route in fund raising. Simone started a lemonade stand and asked for donations during Hanukkah to reach her goal.

“I feel great because I raised the money by myself,” Simone explained. “I didn’t just ask for a check from my parents, I worked for it.”

Eliana plans to continue her support for The Washburn Center by volunteering at the Washburn Games this year while her sister participates. Simone plans to continue fundraising. The Pierotti sisters show that philanthropy can come from all shapes, sizes and, most notably, ages.

“The main reason I do projects like this is to help the community,” said Eliana. “Washburn Center does great work, and I want to help.”