An initiative to inspire children to help their peers is picking up momentum in St. Lawrence County.
The Kids are Key project, started by the St. Lawrence County Community Development Programs Community Action Angels, has handed out three $100 grants to children between the ages of 10 and 13 to help them launch projects to help others.
Community Action Angels is a statewide program that opened its doors in St. Lawrence County last November.
Its really a program that is in place to catch the people who fall between the cracks, said Coordinator Alicia M. Murphy.
Ten-year-old Eve M. Higginson is the first Kids are Key member to move her project beyond the conceptual phase.
Warm Hands, Heads and Hearts is a project to help needy children get proper winter clothing.
In my school a lot of kids dont have snow pants or coats or hats and mittens or anything to go outside and play, she said.
With the $100 grant from Angels, Eve was able to set up a table at the Waddington Homecoming to sell water, snacks and raffle tickets for donated items. She was able to turn her initial funding into $400.
With the money I raise, Im going to buy hats, scarves and mittens, she said.
Eve is also going to begin a drive for new and used coats later this fall that she will hand out with the hats, scarves and mittens she buys.
There are no prizes, because we think that the biggest motivator should be to want to help somebody, said Ms. Murphy. The kids turn their compassion into action.
Other grant recipients are 13-year-old Amanda Mason from Parishville and 12-year-old Marc Tessier of Massena. Their projects will be announced within the next several weeks.
Funded through a grant by the Alcoa Foundation, Angels is operating on a limited, one-year timetable in the county with the hope of securing more funding to stay in the area.
Im currently seeking grants, said Ms. Murphy.
Community Action Angels is also seeking volunteers, said Ms. Murphy. People who are interested should call her at 386-1102.