Two McDowell girls on a quest to raise funds and items for overseas military personnel reached their goal.

Fourth-graders Kaylynn Henry and Anna Miller were inspired to do a service project for Walking Miles in Their Boots, after hearing about soldiers who never receive care packages from back home.

“I’m very impressed with their hard work and all of the energy they have put into getting donations. We appreciate it, and all of the guys and ladies will surely appreciate it,” said Connie Lancaster, a representative from Walking Miles in Their Boots. “Speaking from experience of having two boys that have been deployed, just getting a box with stuff they can use, a lot of times it’s just great to open something that is from your home from people you know that love you and care about you. It makes a big difference in their lives.”

The girls held drives at Marion Elementary and Nebo Elementary schools where they collected socks, chapstick, wipes and numerous, everyday items to be shipped overseas. Businesses and organizations made donations to the cause.

“This service project was born out of a love for those who serve ever day in our military in foreign countries,” said Henry’s mother Suzie, who has a son in the Navy. “They often go months without phone calls or letters.”

Along with the items they collected, they also raised money to ship the packages through Quarters for Country. The girls met with organizations in Buncombe, McDowell and Burke counties to help support their cause.

“Through these meetings, the girls brought awareness to a wonderful cause. Anna and Kaylynn raised $1,413.34 to ship packages and enough products to fill 24 boxes,” Suzie said. “All proceeds were donated directly to Walking Miles in Their Boots, a local McDowell County non-profit.”

Anna and Kaylynn told The McDowell News back in May when they started their project they hoped the packages made the soldiers happy because “they save our lives every day.”

“I enjoyed making the packages for the troops using the items we collected,” Anna said.

Her mother, Melissa Miller, said she looks forward to supporting the girls in their future service projects, and hope they will learn to always serve others no matter how small the gesture.

For more information on Walking Miles in Their Boots, contact Suzie Henry at

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