Since the age of six, Kayla has been utilizing her birthday celebrations to collect gifts for charity.
Kayla is a part of the “small but growing group of children and teenagers who are engaging in charitable giving… at a time when most children their age are focused on sports, music or just themselves.” (Sullivan, The New York Times).
A few weeks ago Kayla Rogers celebrated her 12th birthday. Just like most kids her age, Kayla threw a party with friends, games, and gifts. However, the gifts her friends brought were not for her.
Kayla chose to collect and donate items to The Salvation Army Summer Camp Supply Drive. After hearing about the drive to help local children of homelessness and poverty from a family friend, Kayla prepared her party invitations, including a description of The Salvation Army, the purpose of the supply drive, and a list of items to be donated. Kayla, with the help of her friends, collected a number of sleeping bags, blankets, washcloths, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant, all to be donated to The Salvation Army. In the past, Kayla has donated items to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and a medical mission trip to Honduras in which her father and sister participated.
According to Paul Sullivan‘s article, “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others,” most times, the desire to give stems from family and parents as is the case with Kayla.
Kayla’s inspiration to serve others began with her sister, who, as well as participating in the aforementioned mission trip, was a volunteer for the Georgetown Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) which provides therapies and activities for disabled persons through interaction with horses. Kayla learned that there are others who do not have the same things as her and she wanted them to make a difference for them. This idea led to Kayla’s decision to forego birthday presents for the past six years in order to support others in need.
As well as being active in the community, Kayla enjoys participating in the Gateway College Preparatory Volleyball team, Honor Society, and UIL Oral Reading. In addition to collecting items for The Salvation Army, Kayla celebrated her 12th birthday by the pool with friends and playing kickball and volleyball. Kayla plans to maintain her birthday tradition in the years to come and continue serving both animals and humans alike, just like The Salvation Army’s mission to serve without discrimination.
The items Kayla donated are with the kids at summer camp right now! Thanks to her donations, they are able to have a fun camp experience this summer and from the looks of it they taking full advantage of the opportunity! Thank you Kayla for your help and we hope you continue Doing the Most Good.
Sullivan, Paul. “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 July 2014. Web. 14 July 2014.
For 2015 Camp Drive details, click here.
The Salvation Army Is Sending Children Who Are Experiencing Homelessness or Poverty to Summer Camp
Individuals, Companies and Organizations are asked to Donate Supplies
AUSTIN, TX (May 27, 2014) – More than 100 children who are experiencing homelessness or poverty from The Austin Salvation Army Shelters and Service Centers, from ages 5 through 16, will attend summer camp starting June 16. Camp is important for every child, and it is especially important for these children in our community who are facing great challenges. We need the help of individuals, companies, churches and organizations to give these children the gift of summer camp.
“As you can imagine, going to camp is big deal to local kids who are living in shelters or in poverty,” says Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director. “It’s one gift The Austin Salvation Army can offer them while their parents are busy each day working, studying or training to improve their employment.”
Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times for these children. Activities include team building, swimming and swimming lessons, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports and games, studying nature and wildlife, talent shows and lots more! The camping experience lasts for 10 weeks.
There are two ways the community can help: 1) Purchase items (from the list below) and drop them off to us. You can do this as an individual, or you can organize a drive through your company, church or organization. 2) Donate online and we will purchase the items for the children. We are in need of the following for boys and girls from 5 to 16 years of age (all sizes):
Beach towels and wash cloths
Refillable water bottles
Swimsuits (one piece only)*
Caps and hats*
Water shoes and flip flops*
Travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes
Travel size deodorant and soap
Travel size hand cleanser
Sheets, light sleeping bags, light blankets*
Pillows and pillow cases
Sunscreen (SPF 30)
Flashlights with new batteries
Travel size packaged snacks
*We have the biggest need for children ages 10 – 12.
Drop Off Locations
Donations may be dropped off beginning May 29, Monday thru Friday 9 am to 4 pm at 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 231, Austin, 78758, or in Georgetown at 307 Shannon Lane.
Please contact Donna Clendennen at 512-634-5921 or firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a large drop-off or collection drive with your church, company or organization. The deadline for donations is June 11. Should you wish to donate by mail, please mark your check “camp supplies” and send it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767. For on-line giving: SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.