It seems as if the coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. All lines of work, all ages of people, how we educate and even gather to exercise. Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo (GOTR) was no exception. They had to make the hard decision to halt in-person programming and cancel their annual 5K celebration. That decision left one local 11-year-old wondering how she could still participate, but also give back! Kylie just finished her 5th grade year at Oakland Academy in Portage. When the GOTR was cancelled she wanted to stay active and give back to the community. “I wanted to help people in my area, in my county”, says Kylie. So, she and her mom set out to find a place Kylie could raise money for right here in Kalamazoo County. That is when they heard about Senior Services of Southwest Michigan’s Meal on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels is designed specifically to meet the nutritional and social needs of seniors. According to Meals on Wheels of America, frequent in home visits provide unique opportunities to meet nutritional needs, combat social isolation, address safety hazards and provide holistic care. Additionally, 59% of home-delivered meal recipients live alone, and for many of them, the person delivering the meal is the often the only person they will see that day. After talking with Senior Services Fund Development Manager Cassandra Boyd, Kylie had found her match! She put together a Facebook event on her mom’s page complete with a video and information about the 5K race she planned to do to raise money. She asked friends and family to share the event expecting a few people to join in and donate. To her surprise, over 40 people helped in raising more than her goal. Kylie was able to raise $1200 for Meals on Wheels. That equates to almost 200 meals for seniors in Kalamazoo County. “It felt really good to do that and it helped hundreds of people”, says Kylie. She says she would like other kids her age who want to get involved know just how easy this was. “Find a local place, a small business, that has fundraising or donations and talk to them about how you can help.” Kylie learned a lot about Meals on Wheels and how easy it was to help. When things open back up in our community she says she is looking forward to coming to Senior Services to meet people and maybe even take a ride with a delivery driver and meet some of the clients she was able to impact. Senior Services would like to thank this amazing young lady for her heart and her work in raising funds for our most in need community members. Thank you, Kylie, for being you and helping your community! If you are interested in helping Kylie and donating to Meals on Wheels, please visit her donation page. You can read more about Kylie’s story here.