Beaver County Third Grader Creates ‘I Am Not Lost’ Project
BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. – Thanks to the power of teamwork, The Salvation Army was able to help bring a young girl’s vision to life in Beaver County. In December 2022, Amzey, a third grader from Beaver County, visited the city of Pittsburgh. During her visit she noticed some individuals who were experiencing homelessness. She immediately expressed her concerns to her family and vocalized how she wanted to do something to help. As it weighed heavy on Amzey’s heart, her parents immediately started making contacts to see how they could assist her in making a difference.
While all of this was in the works, a group of community agency leaders in Beaver County were meeting to discuss outreach work surrounding homelessness in Beaver County. This discussion focused on making sure the efforts of outreach were purposeful. Community leaders wanted to ensure they were meeting individuals where they were, showing a loving hand, walking alongside them as they work through challenges and arming individuals with the information and the supplies they needed in that moment. This is when the concept of the “I Am Not Lost” scarf project bloomed. Quickly, the concept began to develop, with The Corner Stone of Beaver County and The Salvation Army taking the lead, the group began working on the steps necessary to see this idea come to fruition.
Within that same week, one of the agencies Amzey’s mom reached out to was The Salvation Army. The “I Am Not Lost” scarf project was looking to collect hats, scarves and gloves and that would be hung in towns throughout Beaver County during the cold winter months so that individuals who need them can then access them. Along with the items, information would also be provided on how to access shelter and other resources. After Amzey and her mom discussed the project details, they immediately went to work. Over the course of two weeks, Amzey collected hundreds of items by reaching out to families and students in preschool and faith formation classes at her church, as well as families and teachers at her school. The response was overwhelming! Bins at both donation drop-off locations had to be emptied several times within the two weeks. Amzey personally signed each card that would be hung on the items. Then the wait began for the ideal weather conditions and final approvals from local municipalities to proceed.
On the afternoon of January 31, 2023, The Salvation Army team met on Franklin Avenue and began to hang the items in preparation of forecasted temperatures dropping into the teens. The staff was overwhelmed with the outpouring of gratitude they received as they hung up the items. Community members stopped by to say thanks and honked car horns to show support. By the time the group walked back to their starting point, they encountered a little boy on his way home from school attempting to get a scarf off the fence. After assisting, they then went ahead and rehung the entire fence of scarves as they then noticed it had already been depleted.
It is clear God was at work throughout the development of this project, and it is also clear the love Beaver County residents have for their neighbors. This project would not have been possible without the many individuals who teamed up to make a difference.