Albany High School Graduate Makes a Difference for Rare Disease with Six Red Buckets

June 28, 2012

Meet Julian Levine

Julian Levine is not your ordinary student.  A recent graduate of Albany High School, Julian Levine was inspired his freshman year to make a difference for rare disease.

With a gracious heart and six red buckets, Julian was able to change how the students at Albany High School in Albany, California viewed their spare “change” for a greater cause.

I didn’t understand why Rare Disease hasn’t received much attention and felt I could do something to help. – Julian Levine

And help Julian did.  In 2009, the week leading up to World Rare Disease Day, Julian was inspired by Nicole Boice, President and Founder of the Global Genes | R.A.R.E. Project, when he learned from her that rare disease affected people 10 times more than those with breast cancer.  With hope and the desire to change rare disease awareness for the better, Julian and his friends started the Albany High Project Charity Club.

More commonly referred to as the Red Buckets Spare Change Campaign, ACE Hardware donated six red buckets to the club which were labeled “Change for Change” and included the World Rare Disease logo for their collected donations.

When Nicole Boice told me about the issues at hand, it struck me as an important issue that needed a lot more attention. There are so many people in the world afflicted by rare disease, but because of the nature of their condition — its rarity, treatments and cure for these diseases often aren’t pursued by pharmaceutical companies because of the lack of financial incentive.

Julian, President of the club for four years running, held meetings with club members to plan and prepare for events which also included a collection of video game donations for  With 10 core members on their team, Julian was able to build on the success of their initial campaign with a generous donation.

When asked what Julian’s long-term goals for the RARE Club?

I’m headed to UC San Diego this fall and my plans are to bring the club over there. With greater resources at a big university, I’m hoping we can accomplish a lot more in terms of raising funds and awareness for the Global Genes | R.A.R.E. team, as well as stay involved as a volunteer for the organization.


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