Caitlyn Carlile, an eighth-grader at Spartanburg Christian Academy, conducts collection drives in her community every three months to benefit a wide variety of charitable organizations.
“My faith has taught me from a very young age that I need to give just as God gives to me,” Caitlyn said. She began in January 2003 by designing a flyer on her computer and distributing it to 200 homes in her neighborhood, asking for canned foods for the Miracle Life Mission, a homeless shelter.
Caitlyn then started thinking about other things she could collect to aid the less fortunate, and recruiting other youth volunteers to help her. “Getting others involved is important because the more people who are aware of a need, the more items I can collect and get into the hands of those who need it,” she said.
Over the past three years, Caitlyn has collected school supplies for the United Way, cell phones for Safe Homes, used eyeglasses for the Lion’s Club, diapers and baby wipes for the Carolina Pregnancy Center, 1,700 pounds of newspaper for the Humane Society to use for cage liners, and 200,000 pop tops for a local Ronald McDonald House.
She also has continued to work on behalf of the Miracle Life Mission, providing the shelter with 1,500 towels, 1,175 cans of food, and 215 toiletry items. “All my life I have been taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive,” said Caitlyn. “By participating in these various projects I have learned first-hand that this belief is true.”