By VICKI BROWN email@example.com
Mason Blatter is a 12 year-old girl who has learned the importance of making friends with people who are in need, and then helping them. Blatter is a student at Polaris Tech Charter school and currently attends school virtually. She made the choice to stay virtual this school year so she could help her grandmother Johnn’aie Fender, who works at the Edgewood Baptist Church Food Pantry.
Helping at the pantry has given Mason the opportunity to meet several of the homeless people in the Colleton community. She has also developed friendships with them, and has discovered that sometimes they need more than food. Blatter said she has decided to do something special to help them: she has started making jewelry that she sells, with the proceeds being used to buy backpacks. She then fills them with essentials to help the homeless.
As of now, she has 12 backbacks completed. Each backpack contains three pairs of socks, reusable utensils, salt and pepper, tooth paste, tooth brush and holder, soap, large water bottle, ketchup packs, can opener, cinch bag, personal wipes, first aid kit, drink flavor packs, shampoo and conditioner, hand lotion, sharpie marker, deck of cards, blanket, etc.
This winter, Blatter also made and included knit hats. By meeting and getting to know the homeless people in Colleton County, she says she has found that they want salt and pepper to add flavor to the food; a sharpie to write signs or label their items; a cinch bag so they could carry more food from the food pantry; a large water bottle so they could stay hydrated; and can openers to give them more food options.
Before Blatter’s help, some of the homeless residents who have spoken with Blatter said they had to get food that has a “pull tab” on the can and that limits what food they could get from the food pantry. In the women’s backbacks, Blatter included feminine hygiene products and wipes as well as hair scrunchies and nail polish. She said she wants the ladies to feel beautiful. Blatter said she feels that her mission is not complete yet. She still has 12 more backpacks to fill, so her jewelry sales continue.
She is also making feminine hygiene packs for the women in need who come to the food pantry. She also plans to make “refresher” packs to give the homeless this summer with essentials to help them get through the summer heat. As of now, those will include another water bottle, flavor packs, sun screen, bandana, ballcap and possibly sunglasses.
Blatter’s parents, Dawn Munro and Richard Blatter, are proud of their daughter’s accomplishments. “She is doing something she enjoys and has found a way to help others. We hope this inspires other people to do more for our community. Mason is very shy when it comes to discussing this project of hers. As she says, “she’s making a difference, one pair of earrings at a time.” She also hopes this will encourage more kids to do things to help others in our community,” said Munro.
When Mason isn’t making jewelry or helping at the food pantry, she trains in jiu-jitsu at Toe 2 Toe where she is a purple belt. She also helps her Dad and Mom with caring for kittens for the animal shelter. So far, of all of her endeavors, her favorite is helping the homeless, but she depends on her jewelry sales and donations so she can fulfill her goals. The Facebook page with her jewelry is called, Mason’s Delightful Designs. Contact her on her page if you would like to contribute to her backpack mission or purchase jewelry.