BROCKWAY – Before her senior year began at Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School, Selena Buttery was already working on a way to help her fellow students with school and clothing.

Buttery went on a mission trip to Pittsburgh with her mother. That trip inspired Buttery to start something she called “Project Grace.”

“On our trip to Pittsburgh, we spent one of the days organizing school supplies,” Buttery said. “I came back and gathered school supplies, but then I figured that there are other seasons for kids to have needs. They need more than school supplies, but clothes, too.”

Buttery started Project Grace to help the community of Brockway, but she said that children from other communities could come and get help.

“Kids from all over can come to our events and get what they need,” she said. “Right now, we’re preparing for our fall event. We’re collecting scarves, hats, coats, gloves – anything a family might need for colder weather but can’t afford.”

Project Grace has games for fun and rewards. Kids can get prizes, but they can also “win” some of the items they need. The school-supply event over the summer also had face painting, a photo booth, and a place to create art.

“We’re still planning the fall event,” Buttery added.

Buttery gets donations from the community and organizes them for the giveaways.

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“I mostly post on Facebook for the events,” she said. “I also use Instagram and Snapchat so kids can see what we’re doing. Most people from the community tell me that they’re bringing the items to the event.”

The next event is in the fellowship hall of the Brockway Presbyterian Church. Her whole family pitches in, but Buttery is also getting help from her friends.

“I’m getting a lot of high school kids making goodie bags and baskets for a basket raffle,” she said. “Everybody will get three tickets and have the same chance. A lot of adults from the community, people from the church, and people who see the post on Hometown Brockway are helping out.

Buttery hopes that Project Grace continues after she graduates in May. She plans to play basketball and tennis at Chaminade University and hopes to become a kindergarten teacher. She has a trip planned to make sure that the college is right for her, but if it is, that means that Project Grace will need a new leader.

“I hope some high schooler takes it up after I graduate,” she said. “I won’t be able to do it on a double-sports scholarship in Hawaii.”

Buttery recently earned a District IX tennis doubles title.

Project Grace’s fall event is on Oct. 23 in the Brockway Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. The games and item pick-up is from 4-6 p.m. After 6 p.m., they will show a family-friendly Halloween movie. Popcorn, drinks and snacks will be available. For more information, visit the Project Grace group page on Facebook.

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