08/11/10 — Teen, 17, wants to expand foster children project to Wayne County

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Teen, 17, wants to expand foster children project to Wayne County

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 11, 2010 1:46 PM

Amery Capps

Growing up, Amery Capps recalls a story her grandmother told her about a child being placed in foster care and later being picked up with all her belongings in a Walmart bag.

From that, Amery, now 17, decided to do her part to help out some of those children.

"I found out information locally, and I have been taking suitcases to Social Services ever since," she said.

For the past four years, Amery, a rising senior at Hobbton High School in Newton Grove, has enlisted the help of family and friends, community and church members to collect suitcases to donate in Sampson County.

"(Social Services is) calling back all the time saying they need more suitcases," she said.

Perhaps there is also a need in Wayne County, she said.

So, since being crowned Goldsboro Outstanding Teen -- going on to the Top 10 in the N.C. Outstanding Teen competition earlier this summer -- she hopes to also raise money for the suitcase project in Wayne County.

Through an online effort, the "Pepsi Refresh Project" is offering grant money for projects voted on by the public.

Amery posted her "Suitcases for Kids" idea and hopes to be among the top 10 vote-getters to receive $25,000 for her cause.

The online address is refresheverything.com. On the site, access the $25,000 category and search for "suitcases for kids" to learn more, she explained.

"You can vote every day but you can only vote for my project once per day," she said.

The contest runs through August, with winners being announced Sept. 1, she said.

If Amery is among the benefactors, she has already determined how the money will be spent.

"Fifteen thousand dollars will be used to purchase suitcases for newborns to 12 year-olds, $7,500 for ages 13-18 and $2,500 for those leaving the system at age 18," she said.

While she admittedly is enjoying being Goldsboro Outstanding Teen, it is the opportunity to be of service that has been most special, she says.

"It's really fun to help other people and right now I'm number 37 in this little competition," she said. "I'm really trying to get the word out to vote every single day, so I can reach out to more people in Wayne County and Sampson County."