Karoline L. may be just nine-years-old, but she is already serving as a role model to her peers at the Jefferson County Unit and as an inspiration to staff.
When a fire on September 26 destroyed an entire section of townhouse in the Willow Brooke neighborhood in Charles Town, Karoline sprung into action. She knew several people who had been affected, including her great-uncle, and she wanted to do something to help. She shared what had happened with her peers at the Club, and they decided they would hold a bake sale to raise money.
With the support of parents and staff, the club members made and distributed flyers to promote their bake sale on Sunday, October 2. That's how Troy Kelican from Leetown Baptist Church heard about the fundraiser, and he spoke with the Women's Group, who donated a basket of goods. Club members and their families were also busy baking cookies, cakes and cupcakes.
On the day of the event, the kids did all of the work. They set up the tables, made banners, and decided the price for all baked goods would be "by donation." They stood outside with banners and posters promoting the bake sale, greeted customers, bagged items, and counted change.
In addition to the baked goods, Christopher, the father of one of the club members and the manager at the Hair Cuttery in Ranson, donated a gift basket of hair care products valued at $250.00. For every dollar that someone spent at the bake sale, they received a free raffle ticket with a chance to win the basket.
The kids set a goal to raise $1,000, and at the end of the day the bake sale had raised $900. They weren't short of their goal for long. Thug Riders MC West Virginia chapter donated $100, and few days later they received another $100 donation. Karoline and her friends at the Club raised a total of $1,100 to donate to the Red Cross.
This isn't the first time Karoline has stepped up to help others. Last year, she helped write a Kindness Grant called Backpack Full of Smiles. Every month, the Jefferson County Club picks a different group to receive 12 backpacks full of items that members of that group might want or need.
Karoline is an example of exactly what the Boys & Girls Club is all about: encouraging young people to be productive, caring and responsible citizens.