Two Bastrop teens organized a club in February that has been well received among young people in Morehouse Parish. Their aim is to get kids active and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
The Disney’s Friends For Change of Bastrop has collected three badges for the accomplishments they’ve done since the club began.
Badges are obtained by fulfilling obligations in the FFC community involvement guidelines.
Their first pledge was to initiate the FFC “New Friends” club. This meant they had to obtain members in the community who wanted to join the group. It’s purpose was to not only form the group, but to allow friends to come together and explore different worlds by learning from each other.
“We’ve signed up around 50 kids in the group so far,” said DFFC president Ken’Andre Kennedy.
The organization, which is free of charge, is compiled of boys and girls ages 5-18.
Kennedy told the Enterprise in February that she and Jasmine Taylor had formed the group in order to give young people in the community something positive to do.
“I grew up in a neighborhood in Bastrop that I don’ t even like to go around anymore,” Kennedy said. “When you drive thorough it, so many young people are standing around on the corners. I want to reach in there and grab those kids and show them the right things to do.”
The DFFC group received a second pledge in March by encouraging kids active outdoors. The club held a Walk-a-thon which began at JasTay Community Services Center and ended at East Madison Park.
“Some of our kids are a little over weight so we wanted to get them active,” Kennedy said. “When one of them would stop, another one would pat them on the back and say, ‘You can do it.’ It was great to see that kind of teamwork.”
Kennedy said when the walk ended, they played games and ate snacks.
“We played basketball, made bracelets and necklaces and did face painting,” she said.
Later that day, the group accomplished a third pledge by going to Le Grand Health Care and initiating activities with the elderly residents.
“We played Bingo with them and some of the kids went to the Alzheimer’s ward and visited the people there,” Kennedy said. “We also helped out with aerobics classes.”
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The group will accomplish a fourth pledge this Saturday when they visit a teen shelter in Monroe.
“We’re going to talk with the teens there and just be a friend to them,” Kennedy said. “We’re throwing a birthday party for all the ones who have a birthday in February, March and April. We’re going to give all of them goody bags.”
Kennedy said they plan to begin working on a fifth pledge in the near future, making a garden.
“We’ll plant pretty flowers in the garden,” she said. “When someone in the group can’t get in touch with me or one of the mentors, they’ll go to the garden, write their problem on a note and burry it in the garden.”
Kennedy said so far their group has five mentors. These are the members who give and advice and activity challenges to the rest of the group.
“These kids are ages 13 to 15,” she said. “They’re very responsible and helpful with the kids.”
Kennedy said their club intends to complete all the DFFC pledges. When each pledge is completed, they receive a badge.
“I plan to complete all of the pledges by the end of this year,” she said.
Kennedy, who recently turned 19, must now step down as a mentor, according to the DFFC guidelines. She intends to remain president of the Bastrop group and create new chapters outside of Bastrop.
“Me and Jasmine are going to Monroe to start a new group,” she said. “My plans are to get a group started in Monroe and combine it with the Bastrop group. This is something I feel very strongly about. It’s a positive thing for children and I plan to keep it going.”