Kayla Martin ’17 Wins Youth in Philanthropy Award

Kayla Martin was honored by the St. Louis Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as the recipient of the Youth in Philanthrophy Award.

Kayla ’17 began volunteering at a very young age. When she was just two-years-old, Kayla joined her father, who as a St. Louis firefighter, volunteered to shop, assemble, and distribute food baskets to the needy during the holiday season. The firefighters were able to distribute approximately 60 to 70 baskets to needy families.

In December 2002, this fire department food drive was named in honor of Kayla’s father after his untimely death, The Derek D. Martin Food Drive. While Kayla was only three at the time, supporting this drive became an annual work of love. In third grade she decided to have her classmates give cans of food instead of gifts at her birthday parties. This tradition continues today, expanding to Kayla’s entire high school collecting food for St. Louis’ neediest families. In 2014, Kayla helped collect food to fill more than 600 baskets for needy families in St Louis City and County (a new record and nearly 10 times the amount delivered during those early years).

In addition to her work and leadership with the Derek D. Martin Food Drive, Kayla volunteers with many other local worthwhile organizations including: St Louis Children’s Academy; CWAH (Community Women Against Hardship); Girl’s Giving (Spirit of St Louis Women’s Fund; SistA Keepers; Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition; Pedal the Cause; and the Girl Scouts.

In 8th grade, Kayla was given the Community Service Award for completing the most service hours in a school year. This past spring Kayla was elected Community Service Co-Head at MICDS.