Allatoona High School’s Teen Shoe Box Party

grouppicwithboxes1Allatoona High School’s Student Government, The Helm, hosted the Teen Chapter of A Crystal Stair Inc.’s Second Annual Shoebox Party on March 29th directed by Kaci Pollack, the founder of the Teen Chapter, and Allatoona’s Student Body Vice President. Students provided toiletries to a group close to their hearts; teens in need. Homeless teens are a growing trend in Atlanta, and the shoebox party was the perfect way to help. This year, Kaci chose to donate the collected shoeboxes to Covenant House of Georgia, a shelter for homeless youth. Each student’s “ticket” into the party was a shoebox filled with toiletries. Each student was asked to creatively decorate their box to further brighten the day of the teen receiving it.  Students also wrote notes to the teens to include with their boxes. Then, the Allatoona Elite Steppers performed for the student body. Candi Cylar, Founder of A Crystal Stair Inc., Madison Kazerooni, Co-Chair of the Teen Chapter, and Kaci spoke to students about the impact their shoeboxes were going to make on the teens at Covenant House. Finally, Kaci, Madison, and other Helm members chose the top decorated shoeboxes and awarded those students with prizes donated from over 40 businesses from around Acworth. After the party, Candi, Kaci, Madison, Helm members, including sponsor, Wynne Shoemaker, delivered over 200 decorated shoeboxes filled with toiletries from Allatoona, and 20 boxes from St. Catherine of Siena religion classes (approx. $3300 of toiletries) to Covenant House where they were met with gratitude. Allatoona High School and A Crystal Stair, Inc.’s Teen Chapter were overwhelmed by support from the Allatoona family and the community. Everyone was excited about the difference something as simple as a shoebox was able to make.
Kaci Pollack – is a WXIA –TV 11 Alive “Kids Who Care” 2013 Scholarship winner due to her leadership role/participation in manykaciheadshot1 community service activities – most notably as the Founder of the Teen Chapter of  the non-profit organization , A Crystal Stair Inc. and it’s annual teen shoebox parties. Kaci was also awarded the “A Crystal Stair – Outstanding Service Award – for 2010 – 2013 Shoe Box Parties” at the party at Allatoona High School by Candi Cylar, Founder/Director of A Crystal Stair.  Kaci’s family is very proud of her and her many accomplishments.
Kaci Pollack is a Junior, AP/Honor Student, at Allatoona High School.  Kaci has demonstrated time and again that she is able to successfully balance academics and extracurricular/volunteer activities.  She has a cumulative GPA as of the beginning of this Spring Semester of a 4.1.  Kaci is also ranked in the top 8 percent of her class.
Her compassion for others is also evidenced by the strong bonds that Kaci has developed with the Special Needs students at Allatoona over this past year.  She loves working with them and they in turn are very happy when she is there to help them!
Kaci’s community service work began in 6th grade with “Kaci’s Kandy for the Kids.” After hearing her uncle stationed in Afghanistan with the US Navy talk about the innocent children there, she decided she needed to do something to help make their days brighter. So, she collected candy from her community and sent it to Afghanistan where US soldiers passed it out to the kids in an orphanage. Kaci was later recognized by the US Military for her efforts with this project.
Pictured above are Shoe Box Party participants,Allatoona High School’s Student Government, The Helm, and Kaci Pollack at right.