In completing school project, Shelby discovers she lives in a generous town

The Cedar Heights Middle School eighth-grader delivered hygiene kits to a shelter for battered women.

PORT ORCHARD — For eighth-grader Shelby Beveridge, witnessing the devastating impact that domestic violence had on a close family member was more than enough for the Cedar Heights student to take action.

Her school’s community service project requirement for eighth graders was the perfect vehicle for Beveridge to achieve two goals: meet her project requirement and show her personal support to a loved one.

The school’s community project focuses on community and service, “encouraging students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community,” as noted in Cedar Heights’ International Baccalaureate mission statement.

“It gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address those needs through service learning,” the statement continued.

According to her mother, Shelley Beveridge, Shelby had seen first-hand what domestic violence is and the short- and long-term effects experienced by a victim and those close to her. She saw the family member being forced to flee her house, with children in tow, in a car with her belongings stuffed in a suitcase, while her abuser slept.

Shelby posted her project on Facebook, got help to set up a GoFundMe account, then built and placed a wooden donation box at Arrow Lumber & Hardware in Port Orchard.

With dad Jeremy’s help, Shelby Beveridge loads up her donated items for delivery to Georgia’s House, a battered women’s shelter. (Contributed photo)

With dad Jeremy’s help, Shelby Beveridge loads up her donated items for delivery to Georgia’s House, a battered women’s shelter. (Contributed photo)

When her project to collect donations was completed, Beveridge reflected on her two-week effort: “I learned that the people of Port Orchard were so nice and were very open to donating.”

Still, being an eighth-grader, asking strangers for donations was a somewhat daunting exercise.

“Asking people for donations was a little hard,” she said. “I didn’t want to seem bothersome and, yes, I was nervous!”

The student said she first started out seeking to put together small personal kits for women.

“I was just hoping for some toothpaste, hairbrushes, that sort of thing. But we ended up collecting so much stuff that I couldn’t believe it.

“We definitely accomplished more than what I set out to do.”

All told, she had more than two pallets of items for the shelter that included women’s and children’s clothing and shoes, women’s hygiene items, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, food and light bulbs.

To top off the project, the Cedar Heights student also collected more than $800 in cash.

The donated items and money was delivered to Georgia’s House in Bremerton on May 16.