For Danielle Stryker, serving the needs of others has been an important part of her young life for many years now. For more than 14 years, Danielle has volunteered for Kare for Kidz (K4K) a charity, of which she is currently the President as well as a board member. Danielle helps lead this team, and because of her dedication, so many children are receiving the help they desperately need. Since 1999, she has spent more than 4,527 hours volunteering, an amazing achievement for such a young person.
“It’s always been a part of my life,” says Danielle, explaining how K4K has impacted her life. “We work with families that are unable to provide for their children. And we’ve partnered with the local Salvation Army, too.”
Kare for Kidz provides families in Winchester, Virginia, with necessities like warm clothes, decent shoes, adequate school supplies, personal grooming items or educational toys. K4K provides these to each child they assist at Christmas, Easter or the start of the school year. It is hard for children to learn when they are cold, hungry or embarrassed to go to school for lack of hygienic supplies. K4K helps fill this community need, giving hope as well as help to each family. This year, K4K added a program to give cars to single moms so that they can get to work and take care of their kids. K4K believes that each family, given the chance to take care of themselves, makes a difference to the future of their children and improves the community one family at a time.
Stryker describes the challenges she faces working with K4K, “funding is the hardest part. We get some small donations from local business. I spend at least half my time trying to find the brand name things kids ask for, without having to pay the high prices.” Despite these drawbacks, Danielle works tirelessly to make sure each child has some sort of present waiting for them.
Strykers commitment to service reaches beyond the local level. She has traveled all over the world helping others. When she was very young, she volunteered at a soup kitchen, and, when she saw how many hungry kids needed food, she raised money for the local food bank. Soon, she extended her helping hands overseas, in both China and Africa, helping build homes with Habitat for Humanity.
Says Danielle, “the most rewarding experience was my second trip with Habitat. We were there two weeks. There was nothing when we go there. When we left, there was an entire house that we built.”
Because of Danielle’s passion and dedication K4K has been able to reach more families and children. She has touched the lives of families in other countries with her work with Habitat for Humanity. She is constantly searching for her next project and spends her time organizing clothing drives, raising money for abused animals or fundraising for supplies.
Danielle is a testament to the power of a single individual. She is an example of how to take the time you have and put it towards something good. Danielle explains, “at Kare for Kidz, we can get so much help from a person who donates just two hours of their time. It’s not difficult to do much, it’s such a large help to us.”
If you know someone like Danielle striving to aid the needs of others on a daily basis, nominate them today for the Daily Point of Light Award at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination