11-year-old Allan Baltz won first prize in the Kids USA Mullet Championship and intends to donate all $2,500 of his prize money to help kids in the foster care system.
Allan and his twin sister Alice entered the foster system at a young age. When they were 4 years old they came to live with Derek and Lesli Baltz. The couple fell in love with the twins and in 2015, 2 years after they first arrived, the twins were officially adopted.
During quarantine Lesli and Derek found tons of creative ideas to keep the kids entertained, including changing up their hairstyles. Allan decided on a mullet for his new look. Initially, Lesli figured the mullet would get shaved off by the time school started, but as the pandemic dragged on, the mullet remained. She even took Allan to get it permed too.
“He really fell in love with it,” she said. “He thought it was hysterical. It was hideous, and it embarrassed his sister. Everywhere he went, people were like ‘Nice hair, man.’ He thinks it’s the greatest thing, and he really owns it.”
Friends encouraged Allan to enter the USA Mullet Championships competition. The 11-year-old was hesitant at first until he heard about the cash prize.
“He instantly was like ‘Oh, OK. I can do it, and we’ll give the money to kids in foster care,'” Lesli said. “He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t say, ‘I can get a bike, then give some money away.’ It was just instant that he wanted to give it away.”
Allan won first place with 25,000 votes and divided up his $2,500-dollar prize between two foster care organizations: Together We Foster and Project Zero.
During his campaign for championship Allan was vocal about what he intended to do with the prize money. His impact led to an additional $4,500 in donations for both organizations.
“People also started volunteering … and donating clothing, beds, and diapers,” Lesli said. “A few people that we know decided to start fostering because of Allan’s story. The way that people hear it and it inspires them to do something about the foster care crisis is really incredible. We’re just sitting back in awe and hoping that it continues to inspire more people to make a difference.”
Lesli is truly overjoyed at her son’s loving heart “I’m just so proud of him and of who he is, and I’m so grateful that I get to raise him.”
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