Setting An Example

Nov 4, 2019 | by Doug Donahoo

Caroline Black’s desire to help people in need started with the story of a one-to-one connection. The story told in I’ll Always Write Back tells the tale of a 7th grade girl in Pennsylvania and her pen pal, a boy in Zimbabwe. Their connection started with pen and paper and eventually led to the young man moving to America to receive opportunities he never thought possible. All because of that first connection.

A connection that made an impact on Caroline. “It made me realize how fortunate I am and many other people that I know and we just take it for granted.”

So, Caroline decided to use her good fortune to benefit others. The 7th grader in Johnson County pulled together 11 friends and they started building care kits for people struggling with homelessness on the streets of Kansas City.

“I decided I might not be able to help somebody out miles and miles away, but I can do something that can help out people in my area,” Carolina said.

Over the course of a few months, she and her friends gathered donations, shopped at Walmart and dollar stores, and even raided a doctor’s office to put together the 30 care kits.

The kits include socks, hygiene supplies like a toothbrush and toothpaste, and were customized for men and women, the women’s kits contain hair brushes, hair ties, and even lotion.

“One of my good friends, her mom is a doctor, so she had a lot of sample stuff. That’s where we go the lotions, body washes, shampoos, and conditioners,” Caroline explained.

Each kit also includes notes of blessing and kindness, so that whoever receives one will know people are praying for them.

After putting the kits together, the crew brought the donation to The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Warehouse near downtown Kansas City.

“I thought The Salvation Army would be a great place to donate because there are so many programs that help out people.”

In fact, the kits will be part of the Honk n Holler program, which three nights a week, hits the streets of Kansas City to bring hope to homeless individuals in and around the downtown area.

Caroline said her decision to get involved to make a difference was an easy one, and she hopes more kids her age will follow her lead. “We can take a step back and think about what we have right now and what we can do to help others.”

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