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Q: Why did you start this business?

AN: When I was in the hospital I had constant love, support, and comfort from my family. Yet, even with all the support I had, it was inevitable to feel the gap of comfort. I realized that if I felt that way, many other teens would feel the same way. 

PP: At the end of the day, what humans truly crave is connection and love. When you are in the hospital it is easy to feel isolated and lonely. I felt a need to let other kids know that they are not alone. 

Q: Since your start in 2014, how has the business grown?
PP: From our first handout in 2015, at Children’s Hospital Minneapolis, where we donated 50 backpacks, we have now handed out more than 3,500 and partner with 19 camps or hospitals across the nation.

Q: What’s next for you?
AN: Pia and I will both be headed to college in the fall. We are super excited about our Teen Ambassador Program, with eight high school kids who will be doing the work of PAB’S. 

Q: Why is helping others so important to you? 
PP: I feel that philanthropy is an essential part of life, especially if you have the privilege to give back. No matter how big or small the impact, we have the ability to make good things happen in the world.
AN: Some of the littlest actions can have great impact. The people we met, the memories we made, and the amount of support given to us has been amazing. 

Abbie Nelson plays competitive lacrosse and tennis for her high school, and loves printmaking. Pia Phillips is an artist and tennis player. Both women were honored in Washington D.C. in June at the 2018 Jefferson Awards Foundation National Ceremony for Outstanding Service by a Young American 25 or under — a program started by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to celebrate those who serve and lift up others — and empower others to do the same.