Community Project
Thirteen-year-old Ally Wodka aims to let senior citizens know they’re still valued.

Eighth grader Ally Wodka used her creativity and networking skills to make her school community project a success. A student at Scottsdale’s Mountainside Middle School, Ally reached out to a local senior center to get approval to bring in care bags for their aging clientele.

“I got the idea from homeless care bags,” says Ally. “Originally, I wanted to do this for the homeless, but thought to myself that there might be other people in need, so I decided that working with our seniors would be great. I decided to do research and found that more than 40 percent of seniors living in homes do not get visitors. I wanted to make sure they felt like someone cares about them.”

Ally reached out to her neighbors through social media to get suggestions and solicit donations for the senior care bags.

“I posted on Nextdoor about the project and people were so nice! They all were asking about donations, as well as suggesting what could be in the bags,” says Ally. “I wasn’t surprised because I know how kind people can be. I’m glad my comment reached the right people!”

Her post on Nextdoor elicited over 120 comments with suggestions to include items like fuzzy socks, hand lotion, tissues, stamped envelopes, and eye masks in the care bags. Along with the suggestions and offers for donations were heartwarming notes of encouragement for Ally like a comment from James that said: “Any suggestions that I had are mentioned here, but I felt I had to congratulate you and your effort. Most people my age think the youth of today are selfish and uncaring. Thanks for proving them wrong Ally!”

As for what Ally hopes the care bags will accomplish, she says, “I hope that the seniors know that people are thinking about them, even if they do not get visitors. I want people to know the kindness in the world and how it can spread. I hope my efforts can inspire other people to do the same thing!”