When Kaitlyn Cole was 7-years-old she needed a community service project for her work in pageants.
The project she created was “Sweet Treats for Local Heroes” and she continued to work on it every year.
Now five years later, the project is no longer just a way to boost her points in pageants, but has become a passion project.
That desire to continue to give back after starting at such an early age is what led the Hometown Hero committee at General Mills to select Cole as a finalist for this year’s award.
When Cole began “Sweet Treats for Local Heroes” she delivered 1,000 cookies to members of the Covington and Porterdale Police departments. Since then dinner has been added, and new to her giving is “Hero Survival kits,” which include candy and items each, in itself, a symbol.
According to the anonymous person who nominated Cole for the 2016 Hometown Hero, her survival kits include: Life Savers to remind emergency personnel of the many times they’ve been one; Starburst, for the burst of energy they need; a paper clip to help hold it all together; gum, so they can stick to it and do their best; a Tootsie Roll to help them roll with the punches; a peppermint, so they are reminded to keep their cool; a rubber band to remind them to be flexible and a penny for good luck.
Cole was the youngest of the nominees for the 2016 Hometown Hero award.