Kids Doing Good: Kelsey Pranke
When Kelsey Pranke was five years old, she told her mother she didn’t want to collect candy when she went trick-or-treating, she wanted to collect canned food for her neighbors in need. Her mother loved the idea and they made fliers to hand out, telling friends they would be collecting food items on Halloween.
Now 12 years later, Kelsey is still collecting food, along with coats and blankets, to donate to Greer Relief.
Dubbed “Trick or Eats,” the community has come to expect Kelsey and is ready for her every fall. From neighbors to area businesses, everyone Kelsey encounters is eager to help.
“Because of its perfect timing, just before Thanksgiving, it greatly helps people during the holidays and into the cold weather,” Kelsey said.
Caroline Robertson is the executive director for Greer Relief and remembers when the Pranke family first came to her with Kelsey’s idea in 2008. She said Kelsey was a little girl who was determined to help those in need.
“She wanted to do more, she has such a giving heart and is dedicated to her community,” Robertson said.
According to Kelsey’s mother, Gina Pranke, Kelsey has always had a giving heart. She said all her children were taught from a young age that God wants people to do good for others.
Kelsey credits her parents for raising her to put others first. She encourages all young people to speak up and speak out, noting that there are always people willing to help out a good cause.
Not only does Kelsey collect the donations, she also volunteers with Greer Relief and stocks the shelves in their food pantry as well. Robertson said Kelsey is her example to all families who say their child wants to help but who think they might be “too young.” She said no child is too young to make a difference.
“Just because you're small doesn't mean you can't move mountains,” Kelsey said.