When Jaeli Kilmer and Kailey Van Seter’s teacher asked them to do something to help their community they had no idea how far their project would go.
Kilmer and Van Seter, both 12, are students of Riverside Public School in Huntsville and have over the last week been collecting donations for the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation’s men’s shelter project.
The idea to help came from a project their 7 Grade teacher, Katie Pellerin, assigned them called “project awesome.” The project takes notes from the 2000 hit movie Pay It Forward and tasks students with finding a way to make a difference in their community.
Kilmer and Van Seter said the first idea they thought of was to help the local soup kitchen.
“It kind of just stuck with us,” the pair said. “It was the first thing that stuck in our minds. It’s a big part of the community; everyone volunteers there and without volunteer work, they’d be nothing.”
The two girls initially planned to volunteer one night after school at the soup kitchen but decided they wanted to go one step further and help the foundation with their ongoing men’s shelter project.
The girls are collected donations en masse from throughout Muskoka and are planning to present their cache of men’s goods to the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation on May 18.
“We’re looking for men’s coats, socks, clean underwear, shirts, ties – anything a man would wear,” Kilmer said. “We’re also looking for pillow cases and single bed sheets area big help.”
Both girls said the experience has been positive, adding that they want to continue their philanthropic work after project awesome is over.
“Its been a fun experience. At first we thought ‘oh, well, it’s just a project,’ but then we realized we could do more,” Kilmer said.
The girls plan on volunteering at the soup kitchen on May 18 after they present the donations to the Table Soup Kitchen.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the Kilmer and Van Seter can contact Kilmer’s mother, Tara Krussi, at 705 783 9610.