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Youth on a Mission of Helping

ROME TOWNSHIP — It started out as a simple field trip for the students at the daycare at First Baptist Church of Proctorville. But those few hours have left a lasting impact on these youngsters inspiring them to reach out to those in need.

A few weeks ago the instructors at the Kinder-Kare Day Care Center took their charges to the City Mission in Huntington, W.Va. As administrator Aimee Sites explained, the group takes many trips for fun, going to movies and the like, but she wanted an outing of a different ilk.

“We wanted them to have a chance to give back to the community,” Sites said.

During the tour the children learned the reality for families who must turn to the mission for help in these economic tough times.

“The older ones really understood,” Cindi McMaster, a teacher, said.

What stuck in the children’s minds was that the day they were there the mission had run out of fruit to be served with the clients’ meals and something as simple as a thick, fluffy bath towel was a luxury to the mission families.

That’s when the children decided on their own that they wanted to start a fund-raising project that would bring in these two simple items that can mean so much to families struggling. They explored every possible venue, from standing before their church during Sunday morning services to asking their fellow members for help to going door to door telling neighbors about their mission.

Kaytlin Akers, 10, went home and made decorative ink pens to sell to buy fruit and towels. She teamed up with MacKenzie Anderson, 10, Nicole Wagner, 10, Logan Brown, 11, and Kali King, 10, as leaders for the project.

“We saw how they lived and listened to what they said,” Kaytlin said. “We thought of ways to help them to make a better life.”

The end result was collecting more than 200 towels and 50 cans of fruit, all of which was hand-delivered by the youngsters Monday morning to the City Mission.

“They are homeless and don’t have as many toys and as much food as we do,” Nicole said. “We have a lot of things.”