Skip to main content

Cabarrus Magazine

121 Backpacks Filled for Kannapolis Foster Students by 2 Girl Scouts

Oct 03, 2018 11:20AM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Kaylee Hamlin and Sydney Purvis are setting a philanthropic trend this school year. Both Girl Scouts in troop 1816 have filled 121 backpacks full of school supplies for foster children going into the new school year. 

Kaylee goes to Northwest Cabarrus and Sydney to Kannapolis Middle, both are in 8th grade. This project was for their Girl Scout Silver Award, and backpacks went to elementary, middle, and high school foster students. 

We wanted to learn more about this inspiring project and reached out to Kaylee and Sydney, who took some time to answer a few questions for us. 

What inspired you to start this project?

Kaylee: We were deciding on a Silver Award project that would help the community. We went back and forth on which one to do. We wanted to help kids and so we contacted DSS to find out what the need was in our area. Turns out they needed school supplies and book bags for the upcoming school year.

Sydney: I wanted to help kids in the community. 

How many backpacks have been filled?

Kaylee and Sydney with Foster Care Supervisor Shea Laws on donation day.
Kaylee: 121 filled book bags for elementary, middle, and high school kids. Markers, paper, folders, pencils, pens, highlighters, crayons, expo makers, notebooks, binders, glue etc.

Sydney: 121, exactly the amount of foster kids in Cabarrus county.

How did the community respond to the project?

Kaylee: We started with the goal of 60 book bags filled with supplies, but the community continued to give so it grew and grew until it reached 121 bags, the exact number we needed to supply the whole county! That meant every child would have one that was in foster care.

People reached out to help us, our churches and friends. We even had a lady fill pencil pouches from Lenoir, NC.

What was your most memorable moment?

Kaylee: My favorite moment was the assembly line we had in Sydney living room filling up the bags. I kept thinking the children are going to be so happy to have this stuff.

Sydney: Working together and seeing what we could do to make a difference.

Do you have any future plans to do this (or something else) again?

Kaylee: We both plan on working on my Gold Award within the next couple years.
That award will be bigger than this one. But neither of us have decided what to do yet. I would love to continue to work with Cabarrus County DSS to help the foster children in our area.

Sydney: We will have to complete a project for our Gold Award. I'm not sure sure what I'm going to do yet, but it will be hard to top this project that we did for Silver!

What's something that surprised you about the project?

Kaylee: It surprised me how many children were in foster care and how the community really stepped up to help. We never thought we would get as much help as we did. My church (REAL life Church), Sydney's church (First Baptist of Kannapolis), our schools, family and friends, and even people standing in the line at the bank. Any one that heard about the project wanted to give in some way.

Syndey: I was surprised at how big it got. People wanted to still help even after the project was finished! 

When you aren't helping others, what do you do for fun?

Kaylee: I'm in chorus at school, and we are in Girl Scouts so that keeps me pretty busy. We always have something to do like service projects, camping, hiking, canoeing, trips etc. 

Syndey: I play softball, volleyball and basketball. I am active in my church youth group at First Baptist of Kannapolis and I'm a straight A student. 

Have or know a little one interested in joining the Girl Scouts? Head to the official website to learn more and find a troop near you.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline