When Kendra Hicks was named Teen Miss Five Hills on May 13, she did not imagine she would be folding her way through 1,800 pounds of laundry, but that is exactly what she did at Wells Laundry on June 2.
The Five Hills Pageant coins itself with a hashtag of “more than a beauty pageant,” said coordinator Wendy Sledd.
Every winner must choose a platform for their community service project, and Hicks chose to help people without homes, especially students. Looking for projects to dig into, Sledd recommended gathering the lost and found items from schools in Copperas Cove and then laundering and donating them. Sledd supported and assisted a previous Five Hills winner with the activity in 2015 and it was a success.
However, neither Sledd nor Hicks imagined 1,800 pounds worth of lost items.
Hicks, impassioned by students without homes and other items most of us consider a luxury, was all too eager to organize and participate in the clothing donation activity.
“I went to all of the schools in Copperas Cove and gathered the clothes and spoke to Mr. Wells, so this was an activity I was able to do all by myself,” said an enthusiastic Hicks.
The Five Hills royal court provides more than 5,000 community service hours per year. The royalty are only required to do one community appearance a month, but they tend to do more. Since May 13, they have already made 10 appearances within the Killeen area community, Sledd said.
Kenny Wells, owner of Wells Laundry in Harker Heights, Killeen and Copperas Cove, was happy to donate about $200 in quarters so the Five Hills queens could wash 21 loads and dry 42 loads of laundry. Wells enjoys seeing young people give back to the community.
“You have to give more to the community than you take from it or you will not do well in life,” Wells said at his laundry facility Friday.
The almost ton of clothes have also been designated to a specific place.
“Communities in Schools across the region will come and pick through the clothes and take what they may need and those left over we will take to Optimist Thrift Store which helps students replace items lost in tragedies like a house fire,” explained Hicks.
Hicks attends Liberty University online and wants to be an interior decorator and would like to be involved with a youth ministry so that she can continue helping teens in need.
Gathering, laundering and donating the 1,800 pounds of clothing is one activity for her platform to help students who are homeless.