My name is Madeline, but you can call me Maddie! I am at 7th grader at Stanton Elementary in St. Louis, Missouri.
When my aunt Katie-Do was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 I really wanted to help find a cure. My sister and I sold cookies at our neighborhood garage sale. We did this for 2 years and donated the money to the American Cancer Society. While this was successful, I wanted to do more. In September 2015 my aunt lost her battle with cancer. This was a hard time for our family. My aunt Katie-Do was so special to all of us. I thought to myself, what can I do to keep her memory alive? I remember how hard chemo treatments were for her and I thought, no kid should have to go through that. I started researching what kids going through chemo may need to help ease their side effects and make their day a little brighter.
Like many schools, our school loves to make people happy. One way we do this is by organizing service projects. I decided to ask my principal if the school would be willing to support my idea of making chemo care kits for kids. I worked with the school counselor and the leadership team to organize a chemo care kit drive. I presented a power point presentation to the whole school asking for their help. Everyone thought it was a great idea and the donations started piling in! It was so great to see everyone caring and supporting my idea!
Each kit contains items to help with chemo side effects as well as things to keep them comfortable and busy. Side effect items include, chap stick, lotion, hand sanitizer, and tissues. Activity items are games, puzzles, coloring books and small toys. And comfort items are soft socks, hats, pillows, and fleece blankets! So many Stanton leaders took time off their recess to help assemble the kits. It was great to see everyone working together on this project.
At the beginning of our drive, we had hoped to assemble 20 kits. We had SO MANY donations that we were able to put together 50! It felt so good to know that we were helping so many kids going through a hard time. I never realized how this would touch the hearts of so many. I decided to keep this project going and named it after my aunt, Katie-Do Kare Kits 4 Kids.
In March of 2016, we delivered our first Katie-Do Kare Kits to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The support from the community was amazing! In May 2016, I was sponsored by Allegiant Airlines to deliver Kare Kits at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida. This was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to hand-deliver Katie-Do Kare Kits to children going through chemotherapy. It warmed my heart to put a smile on their faces during their hospital stay.
During my journey I've also had the opportunity to meet so many great people all over the world! Katie-Do Kare Kits has inspired several kids to start their own service project, especially in Australia! I love visiting schools and sharing my story and inspiring others to make a difference in their communities. It’s such a great feeling to see other kids wanting to help others.
The last two years have been an amazing experience. I would of never thought such a simple act of kindness would lead me down this path. I am so thankful for all the donations and support. To date, I have delivered over 1000 Katie Do Kits 4 Kids!!
Please like Katie-Do Kare Kits on Facebook to see current updates, I'm blessed with amazing donors that help to keep my dream alive!
Thank you for visiting my page to learn more about my journey.