Daily Point of Light # 2038 Nov 26, 2001

Melissa Petry, a 13-year-old Girl Scout devoted to helping others. Her vision, leadership and management skills have led her to give service to many. When she visited the Presbyterain Shelter, she saw a need for over the counter medicine. She began educating the community about how they could make a positive difference in the lives of others. Melissa’s innovative approaches to addressing the problems were successful. She raised more than $2,500 worth of medicine and baby supplies for the shelter. Recently she provided an educational library for the shelter.

Melissa’s commitment to helping others inspired her to form a 501(c)(3) organization called Our Kids Care, which is about “kids helping kids” to have a hopeful direction. Melissa initiated the club after visiting Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, which was the club’s first major project. This club has grown to include youth throughout Tarrant County.

Melissa has truly demonstrated her ability to lead others and turn her enthusiasm for service opportunities into making the community and the work a better place for all. She has enabled young people to have an opportunity to grow up feeling respected, knowing their strengths, and sensing that they can make a difference in the world, and contribute to society in meaningful ways. She recently taught classes at Hubbard Heights Elementary, informing the 5th grade students about community service and giving them the opportunity to help with one of her projects, “Tree of Hope and Joy.” This project helped to obtain Christmas gifts for less fortunate children. Stars were placed on Christmas trees denoting whether the gift was for a boy or girl wit their age and the need or want.

During the holiday season Melissa distributed these trees of “Hope and Joy” in numerous locations to help families throughout the community. She placed trees in: two K-Mart stores, one at Cherry Lane and the other at the Hulen street location; Dillard’s Department store employees’ break room; McDonald’s; Diamond’s; Smart Looks; Mr. Jim’s Pizza; Albertson’s; Neat Cuts; Chicken Express; Hoops; Boyd IGA; Sandy Beach convenient store; and First State Bank of Lake Worth. This effort allowed her to serve over 100 youth through the Azle Fire and Police Department, several families at the Ronald McDonald House, 25 students at Hubbard Heights Elementary, 50 youth who live in the city of Boyd through the Wise County Spirit of Christmas project sponsored by the Boyd Chamber of Commerce, and 148 families through Castle Hills Mission House. In fact, the “Tree of Hope and Joy” project was such a success that it allowed the Mission House to serve 100 more children than the previous year and still have toys and supplies left over.

Melissa has provided much needed supplies, food, medicine, toys and even computers to groups like Cook’s Children’s Hospital, River Oaks and Azle Fire Department, and many others. Melissa’s countless hours of service have paid off. Thousands have benefited due to her efforts.