Pelham student recognized for helping foster children

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

Pelham High School senior Anna Wilkes has received a Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her part in helping to create a community service project, “Kits for Kids,” that provided supplies for Shelby County area foster kids.

During her junior year, Wilkes, alongside other students from the area, participated in Youth Leadership Shelby County, which required the group to come up with a project that eventually became known as “Kits for Kids.” The idea was to provide backpacks filled with clothing, toys and hygiene products to children in the foster care system through a fundraising campaign and a toy and clothing drive.

The students started a GoFundMe page and raised more than $2,400, which they used to purchase additional materials and donate to a foster care agency.

“It really kind of opened my eyes in terms of seeing that there are a lot of communities that go unnoticed and really need the help,” Wilkes said. “I want to make a bigger effort in motivating and really encouraging others to do the same as well.”

Funds were also collected through Main Street Montevallo and from a donation box at the Pelham Public Library. Other group members raised funds through Pajama Days at their schools.

The other students participating in Kits for Kids were:

  • Will Parker of Evangel Christian School
  • Abby Craddock of Chelsea High School
  • Abigail Heuton of Montevallo High School
  • Carson Brooks of Briarwood Christian School
  • Davis Humphrey of Helena High School
  • Jace Jones of Thompson High School
  • Jayla Smoot of Vincent High School
  • Morgan Jeffries of Shelby County High School
  • Nylah Bluiett of Oak Mountain High School

“I’m just so proud of her,” said Wilkes’ mother, Patricia. “(Youth Leadership Shelby County) is an awesome program.”

Patricia Wilkes wished to thank Pelham High School Principal Dr. Amanda Wilbanks, Youth Leadership Shelby County, U-Haul, the Pelham Public Library, Montevallo Main Street and everyone who participated in the project.