A Spirit of Service: Fourth Grader Leads Service Project for Lower School

With the leadership of Katherine Pace ‘30, lower school girls collected hundreds of gently used stuffed animals for children in need as part of the Fuzzy Friends project.
Katherine Pace ‘30 is passionate about a lot of things, including reading a good book, playing guitar, and spending time with her dog, but most importantly, she has a deep love for community service. 

During the first semester, Katherine had an idea for a service project involving Trezevant Manor and wanted to reach Tonya Faulkner, then Hutchison Serves Director who now serves as the Director of Student Inclusion and Belonging. Katherine found a unique way to get in touch: sharing a Google Doc with a letter. This got Faulkner’s attention, and they ended up having a “nice, long talk during snack time,” Katherine recalled.

Unfortunately, the idea involving Trezevant Manor had to wait because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Faulkner and Katharine Kent '95, lower school head, were so inspired, they decided to ask Katherine Pace if she would take charge in bringing back the Fuzzy Friends project. Back in 2019, Hutchison students brought in gently used stuffed animals for children in need, but the school was unable to do the project during the previous school year because of the pandemic. Katherine Pace remembered the project, and she said she was excited and determined to make it happen again.

Katherine Pace immediately got started. She made a flyer for Wednesday folders that go home to parents in lower school, spoke at the lower school’s Thanksgiving Chapel, and visited classes to talk about the project and answer questions.

Katherine Pace '30 gave a speech to her lower school peers at Thanksgiving Chapel.
None of this was a surprise to her teacher, Jane Maxwell. “Compassionate,” “diligent,” and “problem-solver” are a few of the ways she described Katherine Pace.
“If a friend has an idea or Katherine has an idea, she will do all she can to make sure that it gets done,” Maxwell said. “I think she’s a perfect example of a student who has learned leadership and taken it to heart.”

The passion for service runs in the family. Katherine’s mother, Allison Head Pace, works at St. John’s Episcopal Church and has led various service projects there. One of Katherine’s favorite projects they have done together was making kindness bags with supplies for homeless people.

As the Fuzzy Friends collection began to grow, Katherine didn’t expect so many girls to be interested in the project or to bring in hundreds of stuffed animals. Neighborhood Christian Centers picked up the stuffed animals in January. Katherine said seeing the large collection made her feel good, but that’s not the most important part of doing the project.
“I love making people feel good inside and out. Everyone should have the chance to have joy in their hearts,” Katherine said. “Maybe if you do something for the community, they'll do something too and you can spread the giving of community service. People might get inspiration from service projects to make their own. The more giving, the better.”

Lilly Hallum '30 found a kind message on one of the fuzzy friends, saying "Hope you love it.
This has helped me a lot so I hope this will help you. Thank you!"

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