Independent TribuneFeatures Walking for women in need

Walking for women in need

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Time on the treadmill helped Shelby McKee raise $700 for CVAN

By Christie Barlow
[email protected]

Shelby McKee was on a mission when she set out to race money for CVAN’s battered women’s shelter.

McKee pledged to walk 15 miles to raise funds for Cabarrus Victims Assistance Network, but that was just the beginning. She spent a lot of time walking on the treadmill and could constantly be seen walking through her neighborhood keeping detailed accounts of the distances she traveled.

“I walked 15 miles total and three miles per week,” McKee said. “People could sponsor me per mile or give a one time donation. All the money went to CVAN.”

McKee, a rising sixth grader at C.C. Griffin, got the project started as her fifth grade Academically and Intellectually gifted service project.

The AIG program requires its students to complete a service project. Other students in the class raised money for Grin Kids, a charity for terminally ill or disabled children, worked at animal shelters or cleaned up parks.

McKee and her mother, Jennifer Pruitte, talked at length about what she wanted to do as her service project.

She debated about helping animals and planned on cleaning up Frank Liske Park, but couldn’t make up her mind about one particular task.

Pruitte had her research three different organizations and see which one she could have the greatest impact on. McKee chose CVAN because there were children there that had nothing. Mckee was surprised to see that CVAN was like a mini-community.

The first thing McKee noticed at CVAN was how much she had, and how much the people there needed, McKee said.

McKee managed to raise $700 with contributions from her neighbors and classmates.

One of the most surprising parts of the whole experience was just how far a dollar could go, she said. A dollar can buy a blanket, sheets, a couple of books, a stuffed animal, school materials or countless other items.

In order to get pledges, MeKee went door to door in her neighborhood, made signs for the hallways at school and appeared on the daily announcements to tell students about what she was doing.

She adopted a motto of “Help me help them,” said McKee’s grandmother Virginia Givens. She set a goal and knew she would meet it.

She made her parents measure the exact distance she was traveling and wouldn’t cut any corners, Givens said.

“She has a passion for this and has such a compassion for children and women in this situation,” Givens said.

She would prepare a different speech every night for the next day’s announcements, said McKee’s step-father Rick Pruitte. She would spend hours at the computer typing and perfecting her speech. She wanted to make sure that it got people’s attention right from the beginning.

“When she gets a hold of something she never lets go,” Rick said. “She’s extremely creative and dedicated.”

McKee said one of the biggest lessons she learned was how important it was to help others and give back. She has so much and wanted to help others who weren’t as fortunate.

“I really hope it helped them,” McKee said. “It felt really good. It didn’t take that much work, but it felt really good I was helping.”

• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.


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