Senior, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
Sometimes the best charities begin at home. When Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School senior Khorkie Tyus’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Khorkie says she realized that the average chemotherapy patient needed more than just medicine and well wishes. She developed the idea to create “Warm Love” kits that contain a large variety of items to aid patients going through the chemotherapy process.
After speaking to her mother’s oncologist, Khorkie decided what should be included in these kits. There are many different sections in every kit, she says. For example, there is the germ protection bag, which has items such as hand sanitizer and wipes; an entertainment bag, which has games such as Sudoku and a book; and a snack bag, which has food such as fruit snacks and bottled water.
In addition, there is a blanket in every bag to keep the patients warm, as chemotherapy patients are more affected by the temperatures around them. In fact, this is the inspiration for the first part of the name “Warm Love.” Khorkie personally delivers her kits to the patients because she has noticed that many of them go to their chemotherapy appointments alone. This is where the “love” comes in: Khorkie says she visits the patients to offer comfort and to show that people care and are thinking about them.
“Seeing the appreciation that patients have shown and how happy it makes them has meant a lot to me,” Khorkie said. “And it has made me really happy to know that I can affect someone’s life like this. I never expected it to get this big.” Warm Love has become so popular that it has led companies such as Aquaphor and Divinely Greek to donate their products for the kits.
Khorkie’s leadership skills have impressed her teachers and mentors, like Keith White, who said, “She is the type of person who exemplifies the kind of leadership skills, dedication and aptitude needed to motivate other young people and lead a group of her peers to strive to create for the greater good of our community.”
Khorkie, who has been a member of the Girl Scouts since she was five, has just received the Girl Scout Gold Award for her work with “Warm Love.” Khorkie is one of the 5 percent of Girl Scouts who receive the Gold Award annually.
Khorkie also participates in Model UN and People’s Club, and is the current president of Disney Club.
“Khorkie’s future is as bright as a harvest moon,” White added.
Khorkie plans on applying to Syracuse University, Hawaii Pacific University and Wooster College. She is working on making “Warm Love” into a nonprofit organization and says that she wants to continue her work with it throughout college.
This article was written by Eliza Paprin, a student at Riverwood International Charter School.