Peyton's Promise: The promise continues
As she gets ready to start college in the fall, we sit down and talk with Peyton Medick, the founder of Peyton's Promise. A major charity force in Marathon County, which collected tons of food for food banks over the last ten years. She was just eight years old when it all began.
This is what she told us.
"As an 8 year old my family and I were sitting in our living room watching the news and there was a story about a little boy and he did not know what the three meals of the day were. We did a little food drive at my elementary school that collected about 300-bags of food."
"Honestly is just spiraled from there and it's cool because it got so big so fast. We have over 70 advocates now and we're in the process of getting more and more applications and it's crazy cause it started with me and my family with just one food drive."
"I could never have done it by myself. I didn't collect every single one of those cans of food. It's been a team effort with the community."
"Graduating is really exciting. It's kinda scary in a surreal feeling, but the past 12-years have gone by so quickly. I'm going to UW LaCrosse for communications, maybe specifically for broadcasting"
"If you find your passion, you really can really make a difference, no matter what age you are."
So what does the future hold now that Peyton is moving away?
It was 10-years ago when Tom Rau from the Neighbor's Place first met Peyton who at the time was just 8-years old, "I can remember Peyton coming down here with a little red wagon with some food in it and that happened within days of her watching that show about children going hungry."
That food drive grew into a formidable charity over the decade that followed. "There are tons and tons of food that were donated not just to our pantry, but to pantries throughout Marathon County" says Rau.
Now, Peyton is off to college. But Petyon's Promise lives on with some new people at the helm. They're taking an "it ain't broke so we're not going to fix it" approach. But they can still see it growing even more.
"What Peyton did and what her family did to create this we don't want to as a group as an organization. We don't want to let ti slide. We want to keep it at it's current point. We want to keep it growing" says Peyton's Promise president Bryan Bloemers.
His daughter, Emma who is an advocate board member says "we have over 100 advocates and seeing every single one being involved there are so many new advocates coming in and bringing in fresh, new ideas."
At the Neighbor's Place, they don't believe the help from Peyton's Promise will end, even if the food isn't coming in on that little red wagon any more.