Second-grader Kylie collects presents for Crosswalk teens
seven-year-old gathers hundreds of donations for the homeless
The note, written with a 7-year-old's spelling and sincerity, reads simply:
Thank you for helping me with my project last year. I am doing my project agin. Can you help me this year with my project please? I wold like to do a packedge of things for each person. I want each packege to have a hat, gloves, scarf, blanket, candy and a gift card for something to eat. Thank you for your help.
The note is found on a Web site for the Liberty Lake Elementary second-grader, who is gearing up for the third year of “Kylie’s Project,” a youngster’s mission to hand out gifts to the needy in Spokane.
It started out in 2006 when Kylie Beckett was just 5 years old. After seeing homeless people on the streets of Spokane, Kylie told her parents that she wanted to use her own money to buy gifts for those in need.
That first year, Kylie’s Project totaled three presents, all handpicked, hand-wrapped and including a note by the Liberty Lake resident. Her parents drove her around in downtown Spokane, passing out presents from the car window.
Since then, Kylie’s Project has grown to include family, friends and community members who have contributed to her cause. Last year, she received more than $750 and more than 350 donated items.
“It’s her decision every year whether she wants to do it,” said her mother, Jamie Cleary-Beckett. “We’ve worked hard to make it her project.”
This year, Kylie is planning to raise funds, collect items and bundle together her presents so each recipient gets a hat, gloves, scarf, blanket, candy and a gift card for a meal.
Starting after Thanksgiving, Kylie and her parents will once again drive the streets of Spokane, searching for those in need. They are planning a wrapping party this year and also will let others help hand out presents.
Last year, they took nearly a dozen trips into Spokane.
“We’ll give out as many as we’ll get,” said Kylie’s father, Josh Beckett. “There’s nothing but appreciation and respect from the people who have received.”
Lesley Greiner of Liberty Lake donated cash this year to Kylie, who is friends with Greiner’s daughter.
“The first year it was Kylie’s money, and then last year we’d get e-mails and my heart is like, wow, what a giving thing. Most children are not that way,” Greiner said. “There’s some kind of compassion there that is just so rare.”