WHS Student Gets $12,000 Grant From Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank Program

A Wellington High School student decided to make his dreams a reality when he created an organization that donates Lego pieces to children’s hospitals. He took his work one step further when he applied to pitch his idea at the Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank program, and he ended up receiving $12,000 recently that will go toward his cause.

Daniel Clein, 17, founded Bricks Busting Boredom, an organization that collects hundreds of pounds of new and lightly used Lego toys and donates them to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Broward County. It was explained to Clein that Legos are in high demand, but are in short supply at hospitals, so Clein and his family started reaching out to other people, and eventually local Palm Beach County schools, in an effort to get Lego donations.

This all started in 2012 when Clein’s 4-year-old cousin, Aaron, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. Through a tumor-removal process and seven months of chemotherapy, the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital was there to help. Aaron is now three years cancer-free, and Clein thanks the entire hospital staff for that. To give back to the hospital, Clein created Bricks Busting Boredom. He then applied to give a presentation about his idea to the Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank, a local take on the television show Shark Tank, where students can apply to pitch an idea to a panel of judges in order to solve a community or social issue.

“One thing that really drives me to do this is when I hand-deliver Lego sets to some of the children in the hospital,” Clein said. “When you see how you brighten their day by giving them something like that, it makes you feel amazing.”

Clein plans on using the $12,000 given to him by William Meyer and Eric Becker, two philanthropists on the panel, to expand his organization into other hospitals. Clein wants to get corporate sponsors and get more local schools involved in donating.

Clein’s passion for Bricks Busting Boredom continues to grow as he embarks on a mission to make the organization even larger. He hopes to continue to light up children’s faces by giving them Lego toys for as long as he can.

“In that moment when they see their Lego sets, they are not a child with cancer,” Clein said. “They are a child who wants to play with a new toy, and if I can give them that for just a moment, it makes it all worth it.”

ABOVE: Daniel Clein with WHS Principal Mario Crocetti.