Sixteen-year-old Demi Bolin, a Plainfield, Indiana sophomore, recently completed a service project as she works towards her First Tee ACE Certification. She collected 302 pounds of food to support 18 food banks in the Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition. She presented her donations to the Coalition on February 3rd and received rousing applause from the group. Bolin has inspired a few of her First Tee peers from the Indianapolis location to have their own food drives. Way to go Demi!
Enjoy the following reflection Demi recently shared with the First Tee-Indiana staff:
January 26, 2023
Hello, First Tee of Indiana –
My community service project, “Restock the Pantry Night”, on January 20th, 2023 was successful as we collected over 300 lbs of food at the Women’s and Men’s Basketball games during Plainfield High School’s Homecoming Night. I was the main lead of the project since I generated the idea. This idea developed when I went to Dallas, Texas in November at the First Tee Innovators Forum. I was one of 28 teens across the country to get invited, and we each developed community service projects there. They wanted us to make projects that we could continue and that would greatly impact our local communities.
I would not have been able to do this project alone. Other contributors to this project are my parents for helping get everything organized, athletic administrators at school for supporting my efforts, and friends and golf teammates for helping me advertise and volunteering at the actual booth.
The outcome of the project in my opinion was a success. We are helping people in the community and one more canned good we can collect is one they didn’t have before we started. Collecting any amount of food for people in need is a success. My favorite part of this project will be delivering all the goods to the Hendricks County Food Coalition and I have plans to do that soon.
I was recently invited by the Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition to attend their next monthly Food Pantry Coalition meeting on Friday, February 3rd at the Conference at the 4-H Fairgrounds. I plan to deliver the over 300 lbs of food that was collected at Restock the Pantry Night. In this presentation, I will also explain where I collected the food and what prompted my interest in conducting the food drive. This is going to give me an opportunity to meet the pantry directors and give me an opportunity to ask questions of the directors. I particularly am interested in asking how many families they suspect this amount of food will help and for how long. I learned that whenever a group donates food to the food pantry from a food drive and brings it to one of the monthly meetings, the food is divided at the end of the meeting and the directors take it back to the pantries with them. The Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition consists of 18 food pantries and they are spread throughout the county. This will be my favorite part because being able to see their reactions to the amount of food we collected for people will make me happy.
It’s important to contribute to events like this because there are many people in communities without food, or a place to stay, and we don’t realize how fortunate we are. Giving back to the community is great, and I don’t think we do it enough. I hope to continue this in the future at more sporting events and learn from this experience so I can make it better next time.