This past summer two sisters, Kylie Gauvin, a 6th grader at Baird Middle School, and her sister Gabrielle, a 3rd grader at Chapin Street School, began a campaign to collect personal care items such as socks, soap, combs, gloves, toothpaste and snack-size foods, for the homeless. The sisters elicited the help of family, friends and neighbors to begin this kindhearted and generous endeavor.
Kylie explained why she and her sister undertook this project, "My family travels a lot and we see many people standing outside in the cold. My sister and I always feel bad for these people.”
Gabrielle added, “It always makes us feel good to help others. I like that we can help give them things they need. Last year we collected used shoes for kids in other countries who needed them.”
At the end of the summer the sisters sent emails to Ludlow principals to inquire about the possibility of schools assisting with collecting donations; both Baird Middle School and Ludlow High School gave the idea a thumbs up and joined the effort.
At Baird Middle School the Community Service Club supported and promoted the campaign. Mrs. Anna Etkin, the club adviser, was proud to report that they were able to collect five large boxes filled with items, donated by classmates and BMS staff.
At Ludlow High School, the Interact Club took responsibility for collecting donations from staff and students. Club advisers, Mr. Ron Hokanson, Mrs. Lynan Cerruti and Mrs. Lisa Roy report that a total of five boxes of supplies were donated by LHS staff and students.
After all of the donations were gathered, and with the help of their mother and LHS Physical Education Teacher, Mrs. Becca Gauvin, great aunt, Mrs. Deborah Prewitt, and grandmother, Mrs. Donna Uhler, the sisters assembled a total of one hundred and twenty five care packages. The items were separated into three different types of packages (men, women and family). Their first delivery of twenty five men's packages was donated to The Friends for Homeless in Springfield, just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Mrs. Gauvin shared that she has contacted other local social service agencies where they hope to make donations after the holidays, including Soldier On in Northampton, Veterans Transition Home in Chicopee, Ludlow Homeward Veterans and Loreto House in Springfield. In addition, she explained that Kylie and Gabrielle have decided to keep ten of the packages in their family car for people in need that they might come across during their travels.
The efforts of these two sisters, and their family, has not only made a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate, but also reminds us of the Henry David Thoreau quote, “One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.” Thank you Kylie and Gabrielle for doing something to make a difference in the lives of others, and for inspiring others to also do something to make a difference.
The Gauvin Family
Puttig the care packages together.