8-year old Virginia native, Ryleigh Katstra was inspired by a food drive project founded by a 16-year old in her hometown of Charlottesville. After Ryleigh’s mother read Ryleigh a newspaper article about Nicole Muller’s national food drive, Neighbors-4-Neighbors, and this teen’s quest to raise 5 tons of food for her hungry neighbors, Ryliegh told her mother that she was going to help Ms. Muller get that food and feed people less fortunate than she is. Ryleigh wrote up her own flyers and distributed nearly 4000 with the help of her two older brothers and her mother, asking people to donate canned goods to Neighbors-4-Neighbors and she would pick them up at their driveways at the end of the week. She was relentless in reaching almost every house in the multiple areas of her sub-division.
Because of this little girl’s unrelenting commitment to help another youth’s fight against hunger, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, serving multiple counties in Central Virginia has benefited greatly. In the 18 months since she became involved in the Neighbors-4-Neighbors national food drive initiative, Ryleigh personally has collected over 3,300 pounds of food and fed over 2,500 of her neighbors-in-need. She continues to be an integral part of Neighbors-4-Neighbors with more food drives planned this upcoming year.
Ryleigh Katstra is outstanding in her endless desire to aid those around her that are less fortunate than she is and she does this at such a young age. She truly is a point of light in a world that sometimes can seem quite dark.