The students at L.C. Kerr School went home Tuesday with a special gift from one of Sunset Avenue’s fifth-grade students.
Evan Gillespie collected and donated a pair of gloves to every child that attends Kerr, including the Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade and exceptional children’s classrooms. In all, the youngster collected 648 pairs of gloves as part of a tradition her sister started five years ago.
Evan has watched her older sister, Olivia, collect food to be donated to the Backpack Buddies program, rather than receiving birthday presents. Olivia began collecting and donating the items when she was 10, and now that Evan has reached the same age, she decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps and collect pairs of gloves that were then given to all the elementary students at Kerr School.
“My inspiration is my Mimi who always gives to other people,” Gillespie shared with a kindergarten class before giving out the special gifts.
Gillespie decided this year to give to the kindergarten classes at Kerr because she has a younger brother who is currently in kindergarten. She started with a goal just to collect for the kindergartners, but ended up with enough for everyone.
“Evan had been looking forward to her 10th birthday for a while,” Evan’s mother, Anna, said about how the project started. “Evan’s older sister, Olivia, started collecting items for the Backpack Buddies program when she turned 10 years old. Evan wanted to start a project of her own for her 10th birthday.”
Evan celebrated her 10th birthday last year, and instead of bringing presents, she asked her friends and family to give her gloves for her project, “Warm Hands, Warmer Hearts.” Keeping the tradition alive, Evan had the same birthday wish this year.
“Evan collected gloves at her birthday party from her friends and she also had us post on social media and through email that she was collecting gloves for her birthday,” Anna explained. “Family members also gave gloves instead of regular gifts as well.”
Tuesday morning, Evan, along with her parents, delivered the gloves to each of the classrooms at Sunset. Before giving out the gloves, Evan talked with the students about giving and how it’s important to give to other people, especially those in need.
“I want to give back to the community because there are so many in need of things,” Evan said when asked why she wanted to start the project. “I have so many things that other people don’t, so I want to give something to help those in need.”
“Evan wanted to do something that would have a lasting effect after her birthday and thought that every student in the kindergarten deserved to have a new pair of gloves for the winter,” Anna Gillespie, her mother, said. “Since the weather has turned colder, Evan thought gloves would be the perfect item to collect.”
According to her mom, Evan enjoys working in the community with the Girls in Action group from Grove Park Baptist Church. She has participated in community service events such as making Thanksgiving meal bags for needy community members and Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes.
“We are so very proud of her and she is excited to be able to go class to class and talk about giving, especially at this important time of year,” her mother added.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.