Lakyn Campbell, 13, of Parkersburg, W.Va., a seventh-grader at Jackson Middle School, has conducted an annual collection drive at her school over the past two years to provide paper products and personal care items for a Good Samaritan Center, following several years of other volunteer activities. Lakyn started volunteering at age 4, helping to raise money on a Relay for Life team after she lost her brother to cancer. Later, “I realized there are many organizations that need volunteers and community help,” she said. So she held a couple of book drives for a children’s welfare charity and a children’s hospital.
In late 2015, Lakyn shot a deer while hunting with her father and donated 52 pounds of venison to a Good Samaritan Center food pantry. While she was delivering the meat, Lakyn got a tour of the center and discovered it had a great need for paper products and personal care items. So she asked her school administration if she could get teachers and students involved in a collection drive. She made posters to hang in the hallways and her principal promoted the effort in school-wide announcements. Over two weeks, teachers and classmates brought in donations of paper towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, detergent, diapers, baby supplies, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cleaning supplies and other items. Lakyn and her mother loaded them into their car and took them to the Good Samaritan Center. A second drive was held the following year. “Helping others is the most rewarding feeling I’ve had,” said Lakyn.