Kelsey’s Dream: Youth Service Day

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A group of teenage volunteers in Union County spent Sunday afternoon giving back to the community, all in memory of a little girl who passed away from cancer and to honor her passion for service and helping others.

Nearly 50 high school volunteers spent a gorgeous day hard at work painting buildings and more at the Mifflinburg V.F.W. grounds.

The teens were part of an effort to promote community service all through Kelsey's Dream, a foundation created in memory of 12-year-old Kelsey Kuhns who passed away from leukemia in 2005.

"Her dream was always to help children, even while she was sick, and we try to keep her dream alive," said Kylie Kuhns, Kelsey's sister and founder of Kelsey's Dream.

Volunteers were doing just that by making 100 blankets to be given to campers at nearby Camp Dost, a pediatric cancer camp that family members said was important to Kelsey.

"It`s even important for every kid that goes there with cancer because they get to go there and see other kids with cancer going through this and know that they`re not the only ones and interact with each other," added Kylie.

The event was coordinated as part of last month's Global Youth Service Day and had members of several Mifflinburg high school sports teams and clubs helping out their neighbors.

"It just shows that everyone is real involved and really wants to put in to our community and help give back to the people who help run it. So it`s a good thing," said Mifflinburg sophomore Tanner Bingaman.

Area firefighters also received thanks for all their hard work with a special meal donated by area restaurants, and a break.

The carnival grounds are mostly maintained by volunteer firefighters with the Mifflinburg Hose Company. Members said with all the youth volunteers helping out, it saves them a lot of time and work later on.

"We used to have to spend almost an entire month of training nights up here working on this. This will free up nights for actual training, and just gives the guys a break," said Chief John Heiges with the Mifflinburg Hose Company. "It just takes a weight off of us that we don`t have to worry about. So we really do appreciate it."

Many volunteers said the work was not too hard, but it was definitely worth it.

"In our area, we have a pretty close community, not real big, so it`s just good to get out and help the community and just support everybody here," said Connor Pierce with the Mifflinburg football team. "It just shows what kind of school I guess we are, and community, that we’ll help each other out when you need a hand.