Teen Gets Off Facebook “To Help Someone Else”

Kate Gellar and Advisor Linda White
 Kate Gellar and Advisor Linda White
When Katelin Gellar was in seventh grade, she chose to create a library for the medically complex children at the Radius HealthCare Center at Plymouth (MA) to earn her Silver Award as a Cadette Girl Scout. 
This past March, almost two years later, she was honored at the grand opening for her efforts.

The 15-year-old has been involved with the young people who live in the Radius Pediatric Center wing or attend the Radius Day School since she was a child. Her mother, Brenda, is Director of Marketing and Admissions and has involved her family in Radius (formerly Mayflower) activities for 18 years.

“These kids love books so much. Their faces just change so much when someone sits down and reads a book to them,” says Kate.

Linda White, Director of Education at the Day School served as Kate’s advisor and helped her identify an empty break room to transform. Radius paid for the paint and “Curious George” themed décor that Kate selected. The teen also spent her weekends and time after school planning and setting up three Scholastic book fairs. 

Kate asked for teacher selections before using the proceeds to buy books, adding some of her own favorite picture books and chapter books to the list.

Although Kate now carries a high school workload in the Culinary Arts program at Plymouth South High she has completed the project, making time to set up shelves, catalogue the inventory and prepare checkout cards, too. After requesting a donation from the Plymouth Moose Club, Kate was able to purchase bookcases from Borders Book Store when it was closing its doors. (Borders could not donate because it was in bankruptcy proceedings.)

At the grand opening, Matt Muratore, Executive Director at Radius in Plymouth, and the local Superintendent of Schools applauded Kate for her persistence, compassion and abilities. 

So why does a busy cheerleader, scout, pianist and gymnast choose to be so involved with kids in a nursing home?

“Sometimes its good to get off the computer and Facebook and help someone else. It feels better, and there’s always someone who needs more than you do,” said Kate.

Her proud mom adds: “Katelin has a passion for helping people. She also takes time to motivate younger kids. She is sticking with scouting even though many girls quit in high school. She even visits other troops to show the girls you can still be a scout and be cool.”

For her Bronze Award Kate prepared “Birthday in a Box” packages for homeless children at a South Shore shelter for abused women and children. She funded that project by baking and selling 30 cakes. After she receives her Silver Award on June 14 at the Plymouth Girl Scout Service Unit Bridging Ceremony, Kate will look ahead to her Gold Award project.

Radius Pediatric Center and Day School at Plymouth is a 62-bed skilled nursing facility for individuals with severe developmental disabilities and multiple medical challenges. Please visit them at www.radiushealthcarecenters.com.