12 in 12 at TEDxCLT

Jackson Lewis, age 13, came home from school in Charlotte and wanted to make a difference. His dad, J.D. decided to act on this dream and establish an organization that will allow families like theirs to make a difference around the world.

The pilot for his program? J.D., Jackson and Buck Lewis are traveling the world – twelve countries in twelve months – doing humanitarian work.

After starting at an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia, they rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Beijing, China, where they worked at New Hope, a center for children with physical disabilities. Their next stop was Thailand where they served at an “elephant oasis” – a rescue center for abused elephants. According to Lewis, the Asian elephant is on the brink of extinction and this sanctuary is working on returning elephants to the wild.

Earlier this month, in India, the family worked with political refugees in exile from Tibet teaching conversational English. On October 1, J.D. tweeted:


When Buck, age 8, was asked, “How was visiting with the Dalai Lama?” he replied, “It was very fun!”

Today on the banks of the Ganges River, the Lewis family is preparing to work with Buddhist monks who teach children in the slums.The learning lessons for the two Lewis sons (and their father) are emmense.

In their plans for the future and rounding out their next 8 stops: Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Peru, and Haiti.

Follow the family on twitter at @TwelveinTwelve or online at Twelve in Twelve.

The Lewis family were featured presenters at TEDxCharlotte, on October 15, 2011. They sent in a video presentation and then took time out of their day in India to speak live to the audience by phone. TEDxCharlotte’s theme for 2011 is “Dream Makers and Risk Takers.” The stories shared by presenters are inspirtational accounts of dreams realized – ideas worth spreading.

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