From helping girls to helping the hungry; young people have innovative ideas

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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A group of Davie Girl Scouts are helping their fellow students during an emotional time.

Another student who volunteers in a food ministry noticed their weren’t enough “kid friendly” items at a local pantry, so it’s his mission to change that.

Yet another is getting together packages for those in need, packages specially designed for a specific person.

All of these students were recognized on Monday, May 8 with an award from the Davie Respect Initiative (DRI).

All awardees call Mocksville home

The celebration was held at the Energy United Training Center with Mocksville Town Manager Ken Gamble and Mayor Will Marklin presenting the certificates, Respect Matters Medallions and the $1,000 checks to the winners.

The DRI challenge is open to individuals or Davie County based groups of youth ages 12-21.

Girl Scout Troop 2560 was the first awardee.  Their winning idea is to work with elementary and middle schools around the county to provide feminine hygiene supplies to all of the girls.

The project started by posting inspirational posters in the school girl’s bathrooms and supplying boxes of hygiene supplies to trusted teachers, which they can keep in their classroom.  The kits that the eight girls have created include: a pamphlet written by them, pads, deodorant and hair ties.

The girls had brainstormed dozens of ideas.

“The one we all felt most strongly about was making girls feel more comfortable at school because it was something that we can all relate to, and understood the struggle of not having those things when we needed them. We started in-depth planning in August and reached out to Cindy Stone, the principal at South Davie,” said Lena Parsley, Girl Scout.

After holding two successful fundraisers in January, the scouts were able to purchase enough supplies to make kits for every girl at South Davie.

Teachers and recipients have been enthusiastic about this project – not only the kits, but the encouraging posters in the bathrooms.

“Working on this project has made us think about other problems in the community that we could help with in the future.”

The girls include Addy Buchanan, Lake Carver, Evie Conlin, Kiahna Groff, Lena Parsley, Katie Pitts, Salem Taylor and Sophie Treier. They are all in seventh and eighth grade.

“By showing up and talking to members of the community who are in need, you are showing empathy and respect to those that may not see that a lot,” said Camryn Bullard, volunteer with Serving Our Neighbors (SoN) Food Ministry at William R. Davie.

Camryn, who has been volunteering with her family since August of 2022, added: “Through volunteering, I’ve noticed how many people are in need in Davie County.  I try to be a little bit more thoughtful and a little bit stronger in my faith and community.”

SoN relies on donations from Lowe’s Foods in Bermuda Run, Publix in Clemmons and Vernons Produce in Winston-Salem.  Camryn recognized that the food offered from week to week can fluctuate greatly and her winning idea for the DRI was to come up with a way to offer regular, shelf stable items that families could count on from week to week, significantly expanding on the original project.

She especially enjoys interacting with the children who love to see chocolate chip cookies, breakfast muffins and chocolate milk.

“The kids are also adventurous in what they pick out, while the older adults tend to get the same veggies and meats each week.”

To collect more canned or dry goods, Camryn is working collaboratively with one of the leaders of Heroes of Hope at the high school.

“We plan on doing a few food drives to see what we get and then I will use some of my award money from DRI ($1,000) to supplement, so we don’t get too much of the same thing.

“My favorite thing about volunteering with SoN is that I can help people in my community. I love knowing that my ministry is helping fill a gap in my county.”

The third award for the quarter went to 15-year-old Kaylee Lewis.

“When we show others respect, we are telling them that they are enough and they deserve as much as anyone else.”

Kaylee’s idea is a combination of the other two winning ideas. Her project, not yet implemented, is to have a donation drive and create care packages to give to local communities in need. She hopes to collect donations of “essential items”, including hygiene products and food, and separate these donations into groups including children, men, and women so everyone will receive “customized care packages.”

Kaylee plans to take these care packages to churches and low-income apartments. “I hope to make others in our community aware of those experiencing hardships and to know that we have the ability to do something about it.”

Do you know a young person or Davie County youth group between the ages of 12-21 “doing good, being kind, or showing respect” to people, animals or the environment?

Empower youth by anonymously nominating them at   Up to three new Ambassadors of Respect may be selected by the volunteer selection panel each quarter.   The next quarter application due date is June 31. Individual youths and DC youth groups can apply on their own or after having been nominated.

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