Ethan Bortnick may only be 11-years-old, but he’s already a budding philanthropist.
The piano prodigy, who has shared the stage with celebrities like Josh Groban, Beyoncé and Celine Dion, has already donated over 30 million dollars to non-profits all over the world. With his latest single, “All About Music” he’s giving all of the proceeds towards Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to help sick kids his age get better.
Kids like his little brother, Nathan, who was born with a heart defect that forced him to have three separate surgeries before his fifth birthday.
“When I was visiting him, I not only saw him [but] saw all the kids in the hospital basically depressed and sitting there crying,” Ethan explained to CBS Local. “I felt so bad. I wanted to help as many as I can.”
Though his brother is now doing better, Ethan never stopped believing that he could make a difference in other people’s lives.
Through his music, Ethan has not only been able to help those in need, but inspire others to help. His biggest hope though is that he will get kids his own age volunteering, whether it’s a dollar or two from their allowance or a little bit of their time.
“If you can’t give a dollar,” Ethan said. “Just do something to make them feel better, feel happy, you know?”
When it comes to his music, he likes to write about inspirational things. Things that not only inspire him, but will hopefully motivate other people to get out there and do what they love.
“So many people are depressed,” Ethan said. “Just sitting there like, ‘my life stinks’ and I just want to inspire people and make them happy with my music.”
At a recent concert, the sixth grader even had a young fan thank him for helping him break out of his shell. He let Ethan know he was once too shy to try new things, but after seeing what Ethan had done at such a young age made him realize he could do it too.
“Now he’s going to do what he wants to do,” Ethan said. “Whether it’s football or playing the guitar, the list goes on and on.”
Adding, “People usually get inspired when they see me and that what’s really cool.”
– Shannon Carlin, CBS Local