A Van Buren High School student has enlisted the help of Kiwanis K-Kids at Parkview Elementary School in her effort to collect needed items for children fighting cancer.
Saylor Wilkinson, a 16-year-old VBHS junior, was diagnosed in August 2015 with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is currently in remission with no new cancer cells.
On Thursday, Saylor spoke to the Parkview K-Kids about her project, Saylor’s Snuggles, which is collecting new blankets, pajamas and socks for children who have been hospitalized as a result of their fight against cancer.
Parkview teacher and K-Kids club sponsor Renee Rotert noted the K-Kids held a used book drive last fall to honor Saylor and other Van Buren School District students fighting cancer.
Money raised from the K-Kids book sale was donated to sponsor Parkview principal Stacie Wood and her husband James, a Fort Smith firefighter, in a Dec. 3 half-marathon to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
Now, Rotert said K-Kids are being asked to collect the blankets, pajamas and socks for drop-off at Stirred Catering and Coffee in Van Buren, Parkview and Tate Elementary schools, Butterfield Trail Middle School and Driver’s Select and Dallas Dental, both in Fort Smith.
Rotert said items may be dropped office at the Parkview office beginning Monday through April 19 during school hours.
“I am here today to ask for your help in something I am really passionate about,” Saylor told the K-Kids. “I am asking for your help in trying to help make someone who is fighting cancer feel better.”
She said often times someone diagnosed with cancer is sent directly to a hospital in Little Rock or Memphis without getting to go home to pack.
“They often wind up in the hospital without comfortable essentials,” Saylor said. “Sometimes, the hospital stays can last for months. It is hard to be away from home without the things you are used to having.”
She noted the blankets, pajamas and socks are also for older children who are fighting cancer, not only the young ones.
Kiwanis Club of Van Buren sponsors K-Kids at local elementary schools with a mission to teach young people leadership through service.