Christmas time usually finds most eleven and twelve-year olds asking for the standard electronic and gaming devices, gift cards or for some their first cell phones.
Sophia and Katie Spallo wanted to do something different for their 12th birthdays on Dec. 20, asking their parents if they could host a blanket drive for a homeless shelter. What started as a blanket drive soon turned into a “cold weather” drive to benefit Uplift Organization, a Kansas City homeless outreach program. Uplift Organization receives no federal, state or local funding and survives solely by donations to feed and clothe the area’s homeless. It needed canned and non-perishable food, along with items ranging from hand-warmers, socks and gloves to sleeping bags.
The girls scheduled a skating party on Dec. 21 at Landmark 2 Skate and asked Pleasant Lea Elementary classmates to bring items to donate. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate that day, they had 24 children attend and collected several packages of new socks, thermal underwear, gloves, hand-warmers, coats, stocking hats, blankets and boxes of canned goods, along with monetary donations. Kathleen Dean, president of Uplift, came to collect the items after the party was over and was extremely grateful for all of the much-needed donations.