Portland teen wants to change the world — $2 at a time

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News

A philanthropic Portland teen believes just $2 can make a big difference.

In 2011, then-13-year-old Julien Leitner launched the Archimedes Alliance, a Kickstarter-like initiative aimed at raising big bucks for charity.

"I wanted to feel like I was really making a difference," Leitner told the Oregonian, adding that he was inspired by an Archimedes quote his fifth-grade science teacher read to the class:

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the Earth."

"Giving has been a huge part of my life from a very young age. My family and I would make weekly trips to donate money, or give food, or volunteer. Giving simply became part of who I am. One year ago, I just decided to take what I’d been doing my whole life one step further," Leitner wrote on his charity's site.

"It hit me that I might not be able to do something on my own, but there has to be a billion other people like me who want to make a difference but feel they can't," Leitner told the Oregonian. "I thought, 'What if everyone just pooled their resources?'"

"I launched the Archimedes Alliance to leverage the power of the Internet and to bring together people of good intentions and limited resources and give them a voice and a means to create the change they envision," he said in his YouTube video. “Social media allows me to create that lever."

His goal: to find one million people willing to donate $2 each, for a total of $2 million.

"The Archimedes Alliance is built on one simple principle: a very large number of very small contributions can have a significant effect. Every six months for the next three years, the Alliance will reach out to 1,000,000 people and ask them to donate $2. At the end of each six month period, all the money raised will be donated to an organization selected by the contributors, and the cycle will begin anew," the official site explains.

While $2 million is still a long way off, the inspiring teen has raised more than $20,000 so far.