Cumberland teen's mission to help the homeless
Like most teenage girls 15-year-old Kayleigh LaPre has a favorite pair of blue jeans, but unlike most girls her age she's acutely aware of just how comfortable her life has been thus far.
"We're kind of blessed to have the lives that we have we kind of grew up comfortably and they didn't," LaPre said.
The 'they' she's talking about are homeless teens. Kayleigh decided to share a sense of normalcy by collecting gently used jeans for homeless teens.
"With all of the struggles that they're going through at least they don't have to worry about the pants they're wearing," LaPre said.
She found inspiration for the project on DoSomething.org, the project started small, at her school, then it spread.
"It started with one bin, in one school, now there's eight drop-off locations in the state, people emailing and calling us," Dawn LaPre, Kayleigh's Mom, said.
She's collected 503 pairs to date. It isn't just homeless teens she's looking out for, Kayleigh's also looking out for homeless pets in a side project. If the jeans donated aren't up to par, Kayleigh cuts them, braids them, and turns them into dog toys for homeless pets, her family also fosters dogs for save-a-lab. They'll continue to collect jeans through the beginning of February, at first her goal was 1,000 pairs, that too has grown.
"I would like 2,500 and I totally think we could do it," LaPre said.
The project built around hand-me-down jeans will likely be handed down from Kayleigh to her little sister, Riley, when Kayleigh graduates, which means they'll likely be collecting jeans like this for the next 7 years.
If you're interested in donating jeans to Kayleigh's cause you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.