Sarah and Emily Kolesar have a passion for service, fostered in part by their Girl Scout troop's "Year of Service." So, when they learned Mercy Hospice needed someone to organize its small collection of music CDs, that was music to their ears – and inspiration for their minds. In Sarah's and Emily's capable young hands, the CD collection was destined to grow.
Emily Kolesar labels CDs for the Mercy Hospice CD library.
The girls were introduced to Mercy Hospice when their grandmother received care through the program. Afterwards, their grandfather Tom Roush became a weekly volunteer at the hospice office, and Sarah and Emily sometimes helped with clerical tasks. When Tom asked Susan Workman, hospice volunteer coordinator, about additional service projects for his granddaughters, she thought of the disorganized CDs that had piled up.
"Initially, I hoped the girls might be able to organize our CDs by coming up with a system that would make it easy for the nurses, social workers and volunteers to find the right CD for the patient," says Susan. "And they have done so much more than that!"
Sarah Kolesar packs CDs that are labeled and ready for return to Mercy Hospice.
How to Collect 1,000 CDs
Sarah and Emily decided they wanted to collect 1,000 for Mercy Hospice. They began by contacting friends, family and other members of their scout troop. Then, they decided to go further and take the project to their school, Green Intermediate in North Canton, where they recently completed their sixth-grade year.
According to Jill Kolesar, the girls' mother, Sarah and Emily met with Mark Booth, principal at Green, and Ryan Kumpf, assistance principal, on their own to share the idea and garner support.
Jill says, "The principal loved the idea! For a week, the girls shared their project during morning announcements and set up a table to collect CDs. They made it fun by offering a raffle ticket for each CD brought in, and we and the school donated prizes, such as jars of candy, lunch with the principal and more."
As the CDs came pouring in, Jill and her husband Scott helped Sarah and Emily develop a catalogging system using color-coded stickers and a spreadsheet.
"We quickly realized that in addition to community service, the girls were learning valuable skills like organization, project management and marketing," says Jill.
A Library Can Never Be Too Big: How You Can Donate
The Kolesar family sees this project as ongoing. "After all, how many CDs are too many?" asks Jill. "We are willing to expand and have planned for expansion."
The Kolesars continue to accept donations of music CDs of any genre. CDs may be dropped off at Mercy Hospice, located 4369 Whipple Ave. in Canton. For more information, call 234-203-3223.