Blair Yoakem Stays Busy With Multiple Volunteer Efforts In Edmonson County
Darren Doyle, story:
Many of today's second graders stay busy with video games, toys, and electronic devices, but one local girl is spending her time a little differently these days as she continues multiple efforts to help others in her community.
Blair Yoakem, age 8, along with some other volunteers, has created what's known as a "blessing box," which is an outside cabinet filled with non-perishable food items, toiletries, or any other item that someone in need may find as a blessing.
Blair's mother, Heather Yoakem said the box is intended to serve anyone that needs the items and anyone can donate to them.
"It’s a way for the community to band together and help others in need," Heather said. "It’s different than many food pantries because items can be anonymously received."
The Blair Cares Blessing Box is located at the NE Reed Complex between the Edmonson County Library and Senior Center and was built by the ECHS Woodworking Class.
Heather said that Blair developed her own community platform this year, named "Blair Cares," with a goal of spreading kindness throughout her community by giving back, volunteering, and most importantly, being kind.
The Kyrock Elementary student, who is in Ms. Mindy Vincent's class, is also heavily involved in pageants. She is the current Petite Lil' Miss Kentucky Princess and a 2021 Christmas Queen. Heather said Blair had the idea of her own blessing box when she noticed some of her older sister pageant queens had blessing boxes in their communities.
"She decided she had to open one in Edmonson County," Heather said. "She makes and sells Blair Cares Gummy Bear earrings to raise the money for her platform donations. She made and sold earrings all summer to raise the money for the Blessing Box. She then partnered with Ms. Minks ECHS Woodworking class to help build the Blessing Box. She hopes to open another one in the community at the first of the year."
That's not all what Blair is doing for her community. During the summer she assists with handing out commodities at the Senior Center, and this past Thanksgiving, she and her brother Brady also handed out Thanksgiving meals at the Senior Center. They also distribute Christmas cards to the residents of Genesis Healthcare each year.
According to he mom, Blair has been able to donate 2060 items to places like Kyrock Elementary, Genesis Healthcare, local animal shelters, St. John's Thrift Store, the Salvation Army, the Edmonson County Senior Center, and Hotel Inc, (just to name a few).
Blair was also able to partner with Dick's Sporting Goods with help for her local youth football team this year.
Blair is also currently hosting a teddy bear drive and will be delivering all donated bears to Norton’s Children’s hospital for Christmas.
"Blair says just because you're small doesn’t mean you can’t make a big big difference," Heather said.
VIDEO: Blair describes her blessing box below:
She is the daughter of Brian and Heather Yoakem of Sunfish.
You can visit her "Blair Cares" Facebook Page by clicking here.