Twelve year old Kaylee Dykema, of Holland, MI, recently decided to step up and do something about the pressing need for clean water in Africa. Utilizing her love for basketball, she invited her entire 6th grade class to join her in a shoot-out event to raise money for a well rehabilitation project through Vox United.
How does a 6th grader make something like this happen? We recently caught up with Kaylee to find out more.
A couple of months ago at the recommendation of a friend, Kaylee read the book “Take your Best Shot” by Austin Gutwein. She was moved by the story of the author, who was only nine years old when he organized a sponsored event shooting free throws to help AIDS orphans in Africa. Kaylee, an avid basketball player herself, was inspired to do something similar and raise money for clean water.
Kaylee bounced her ideas off of her dad, and together they came up with the plan to do a sponsored basketball event at Kaylee’s school, calling it “Hoopin’ for H2O.” They contacted the principal who immediately signed on and allowed Kaylee to present her idea to the entire 6th grade class.
Kaylee, along with friends and family, went to work organizing the Basketball event. They created t-shirts for the participants, gathered prizes, set up different basketball stations, and rallied together the 6th grade participants, sponsors and volunteers.
The Hoopin’ for H2O event was held on March 16 at the Pineridge School gym in Holland, MI. It featured four stations with different shooting competitions for participants to enjoy. The highlight of the morning was when 12 kids under one hoop were able to make 303 shots in 5 minutes.
Kaylee and her family were very pleased at how the event turned out. Kaylee said the best part was getting to know her classmates better outside of school, having fun playing basketball with them, and knowing that her efforts were helping to give clean water in Africa. And it doesn’t end there! Mr. Howell, the school principal, enjoyed getting involved with the event so much that he hopes to do it again next year.
Kaylee has raised over $1500 for clean water through her event. [Well] done Kaylee!