Kaylee’s Wise and Generous Beyond Her Years
It started when she was seven—Kaylee was helping clean out a closet with her mom one day, and they found a stash of brown paper bags in the back. It didn’t take long for Kaylee to have an idea on what to do next.
She said, “What if we filled them?”
Kaylee and her mom Nikki had just recently volunteered at Second Harvest Heartland, “so I was like, let’s give the food there!” Kaylee said.
Kaylee took paper bags and set one at the front of each house on her block, leaving a note like this one for her neighbors that said she would come by a few days later if they put food in the bags to give to families who come home to empty fridges at night.
With that simple ask, she collected about 400 pounds of food. With the help of her parents, Kaylee personally delivered the food to Second Harvest Heartland, showing an act of generosity and thoughtfulness for people she may not even know.
Although she donated an impressive amount of food, Kaylee didn’t stop there. The second year, Kaylee collected 728 pounds of food, and in 2017 she collected 1,066 pounds! The 200 paper bags of shelf-stable foods Kaylee donated to Second Harvest Heartland came from houses along roughly six city blocks.
“We decided every year we want to do something bigger,” said Nikki, Kaylee’s mom. “It took my husband’s truck and my car to get them here. Next year we might need a third car!”
Why is hunger so important to Kaylee? It roots in her innate empathy. “I get snacks whenever I want, and some people don’t get to eat at ALL,” Kaylee said. “[Second Harvest Heartland] sent us a note saying we provided so many meals,” Kaylee said. “Some people are filling their stomachs with that.”
Thank you so much to Kaylee for making a difference. Want to be like Kaylee lead by example in your neighborhood, workplace or faith group? Learn more about the difference you can make with a Food & Fund Drive.