She had put together personal-care kits for disaster victims through her Girl Scout troop, but decided to work with the Red Cross this time. Lily, 12, with help from her family, managed to collect donated items to fill 300 “comfort kits,” matching the record for the most collected in a single project.
“It makes me feel wonderful that I can help so many disaster victims and make sure they will have the basic essentials as they are going through a hard time,” Lily says.
Lily started her project at the beginning of 2018 and was finishing up in late September.
“She really wanted to dedicate her time to helping disaster victims since there are so many natural disasters and floods all throughout the U.S., Lily’s mom, Linda, says. “It means a lot to her to be able to work with the Red Cross and help victims.”
Red Cross comfort kits are given out during floods, natural disasters, home fires, you name it. Each kit includes a razor and shaving gel, a toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste, travel-size body wash, travel-size hand lotion, travel/full-size shampoo, travel/full-size deodorant, facial tissues, wash cloths and a small plush toy for a small child or pet.
Lily and her mom, Linda, started out by going to grocery stores to solicit items for the comfort kits, but only a few donated. Lily’s father, Josh, decided to build an Amazon “Wish List” with exactly the items she needed, similar to a bridal or baby shower registry. Like magic, donations quickly poured in through the mail.
“Our friends were so kind and generous to donate to this amazing cause,” Linda says. “We had such an overwhelming response.”
Lily was thrilled.
“I was actually surprised by how much we got because I had heard that 300 comfort kits were the most they’ve ever gotten, so I was really happy when we received so many donations,” Lily says.
The project became a family affair. Her mother, father and brothers Zachary, 10, and Chase, 7, all worked to put the kits together. Even baby brother Brody, 3, chipped in.
“He doesn’t work as fast as us,” Lily says. “He’ll grab something and hand it to us to help us put it in.”
Weekends became a special time when the family worked together on Lily’s project.
“It makes us all feel good,” Lily says. “It was fun to work together as a family to help others.”
Lily and her family live in Rockville, Maryland. In late September, they had just received the last of their donations and were finishing up putting together the kits. Her Bat Mitzvah was this past weekend on Oct. 13 at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville. She’ll turn 13 this month and says she would like to volunteer again for the Red Cross when she’s older.
“It sounds like an awesome thing to do,” she says. “And I’ll get to help so many people.”