Deer Lakes senior collects and donates school supplies to local communities


Violet Kirsch wanted to do a community service project that would have a visible impact.

Over the summer, the 17-year-old Deer Lakes High School student launched a community service project called “Color the World Violet,” an effort to donate school supplies to those in need at Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. She was inspired to do a project related to her college project, Early Childhood Education.

“Giving back is so important, especially with everything that is going on with covid. A lot of people don’t realize how much people need, ”she said.

Kirsch donated supplies to seven schools and helped over 300 children. She has also provided supplies to daycares, shelters and churches including East Union Presbyterian Church in West Deer, Christ Child Society of Pittsburgh, The Bradley Center in Robinson, and Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in West Deer.

“Seeing the children’s faces when they receive their supplies gives me the confidence that I’m doing the right thing,” she said.

The level of success of his project was a surprise. She appealed to several organizations. Her first GoFundMe raised $ 500 to buy coloring books, notebooks, markers, pencils and more. Over 40 kids came to her back-to-school event in August with The Hungry Cupcake and Poppin Tags Free Store.

“I didn’t think it would go as well as this,” Kirsch said.

Her mother, Diana, said she was proud of her daughter for starting the initiative.

“We know she has always thought of ways to help people, and that shows her passion and her plans,” she said.

Young Kirsch’s efforts came full circle when she reached out to kindergarten teachers in Deer Lakes to see if they needed any supplies. She left a trash can full of leftover student supplies in the building.

“I love that she comes from our district and makes a difference,” said Joy Strang, a kindergarten teacher at Curtisville Primary Center.

Traci Rich, another kindergarten teacher at Curtisville Primary Center, said she was thrilled when Kirsch reached out.

“We use markers, pencils, paper and other school supplies daily, so I was very happy to support her and donate these items,” she said.

Kirsch said she would like to continue her project while attending college. By then, she is already planning the end of year celebrations and asking for donations of new or slightly used reading books.

“I hope I can give even more,” she said.

Those who want to help Kirsch can contribute to his GoFundMe, called Color the World Violet, or follow Color the World Violet on Facebook and Instagram.

Tanisha Thomas is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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