LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, Dec. 8, is Salvador Medina, 16, who volunteers for the Union Rescue Mission after his family went through a rough time when he was younger.
The Union Rescue Mission is a place that gives shelter to homeless men, women and children. Medina knows what it's like to be homeless because his family went through a hard time when he was just 8 years old.
"Helping the place that gave my mom a second chance, gave my family a better thing, too...it just gives me a better feeling about myself," he said.
According to the rescue mission, there are about 47,000 people who are homeless in Los Angeles County. Medina said treating those in need with respect is important.
He added that holiday gatherings and dinners can also help make people forget about their troubles, at least for one night.
"Just seeing the people get all excited and giddy, it just made me feel better and it's just a positive thing," he said.
Another motivating force in Medina's life is his close friend who was diagnosed with cancer.
"It makes me appreciate everything - just everything that I possibly can do, play baseball, go to school. Just things that he's not able to do at the moment - it just makes me more grateful and more happy about what I'm doing right now," he said.
Salvador has plans to go to college and one day start his own business, which means he's making a lifelong commitment to giving back.
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Cool Kid Salvador Medina gives back to those in need