Local girl shops for less fortunate

One Kenai Peninsula girl is taking the act of Christmas shopping a step further this year and is asking for the community’s help.

Sydney Jeffries of Sterling wants to raise $500, which she’ll use to purchase gifts for children who wouldn’t normally get them. She will accept contributions to her project until Dec. 18.

The act of giving isn’t new for the Kenai Middle School sixth-grader. Her mother, Tricey Katzenberger, spearheads Bear Hugs, an organization that fills backpacks with clothes and other necessities and donates them to students in need. Jeffries and her sister help pack the bags when they can, she said.

“I’m very proud of her,” Katzenberger said. “She’s my sidekick through everything I do. She’s not afraid to talk to people.”

Jeffries began raising money after shopping with her family for children whose names they picked off the Angel Tree, coordinated by the Salvation Army, at Fred Meyer in Soldotna. As of Tuesday, she had raised $205.

This was the family’s first time shopping for children from the Angel Tree, Katzenberger said. In all, they will purchase presents for nine children, she said.

“We went in with intentions of everybody in the family shopping,” she said. “I did explain to the kids that, from my understanding, that typically it’s teenagers that don’t get shopped for as much.”

Jeffries, however, decided to shop for a 2-month-old baby whose name was on the tree.

“I think it’s really sad, you know, that there’s a 2-month-old on the tree,” she said. “And he needed clothes and toys, and that one just … it clicked. That’s my angel.”

When her brother, Logan, said the experience made him want to shop for more children in need, Jeffries ran with the idea. She put together flyers explaining her mission and is sharing the project with as many people as possible, she said.

“For the four kids we shopped for at first, we ended up spending about $200 … so I thought $500 should be good to get a couple of them,” Jeffries said. “It just feels good helping others with this stuff.”

Katzenberger said keeping people involved in giving as they grow from children into young adults is important to keep them tuned into what’s happening in the community around them.

“If I could save all the children, I would do it,” she said. “I can’t save all of the children, I can’t adopt everybody that needs adopting. It can be consuming at times. But … it doesn’t take anything more than … ‘Oh, this kid needs something, lets make sure they get it.’”

To learn more about Jeffries’ project, call Katzenberger at 398-7320.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read