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Gold Award Highlight – Kristen

Gold Award Sept

Care Package Pillows

1. What is the name and purpose of your Gold Award project?

The name of the Gold Award Project was "Care Package Pillows." When I originally started the project, I intended for it to be a homemade item that children in hospitals could keep for themselves. Instead of only having items issued by the hospital that they would have to return, they would be given colorful, well-made pillows with fun prints filled with stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, etc. However, throughout the course of the project it became apparent that I would need help in order to meet the quantity of pillows that I wanted to make. I asked a local group of young teenage mothers, many of them younger than me, to help. This was especially meaningful because they were giving up their already very busy lives (with trying to raise their own children) to help with the community.

2. What sustainable impact does your Gold Award project have on the community?

My Gold Award project will be continued at my local high school through the Christine's Hope for Kids club. They will continue to sew and fill these "care package" pillows to donate to local hospitals. These gifts meant more to the kids than I ever could have imagined, and reminded them that our community truly cares about them and wishes them a fast and safe recovery. I also believe that, through helping the young mothers, I reminded them that our community also values them greatly and recognizes their talents. Many of them were clearly very excited to share with me all of their future aspirations and proud to help with this task.

3. What insights/takeaway did you gain from your project?

The biggest takeaway I had from this project did not even stem from the direct project as I had anticipated. Instead, I really was taken aback by how giving and selfless the young mothers I worked with were. They would always be so excited to work on the pillows and would talk to me about their goals to be fashion designers, actresses, etc. In our society, people tend to be judgmental towards young mothers, and deem them with stereotypes such as being uneducated. However, that is very far from the truth. Furthermore, I realized how a donation that you may think isn't very big or grand means the world to those receiving it.