Area teen a 'super hero'
"What I did on my summer vacation."
To most kids, it's nothing to write in a memoir. The usual string of poolside sunbathing, beach trips and mountain hiking comes to mind.
Hollie Moretz, however, isn't most kids. The 16-year-old (who turns 17 Aug. 22) spent her summer as a real-life superhero.
Just ask the juvenile cancer patients at Camp Care.
"The gave me a standing ovation," she said. "They were so excited."
Moretz spent her summer constructing capes so that each child could feel special.
"I think the capes are going to make them feel that they don't have to be scared," she said.
"They'll help them feel like a superhero, that they can defeat any battle they're challenged with."
Creating the capes was a challenge in itself.
"It was something like 12 to 7 every day for, like, four or five days," she said.
She even hosted a workshop where she taught other young women how to make the capes.
"And that was, like, three hours long," she said.
All in all, she estimates she spent about 70 hours on the project, "but it was worth it."
Five rolls of expensive fabric ($3,000 worth, paid for with additional hours of fundraising) later, and she finally got to distribute the capes to the kids.
"It was better than what I expected," she said. "It was a great experience."
To the 240 kids, it was a special moment. To Moretz, it was life changing. She got to witness a spirit inside the children, something that truly touched her heart.
"The way they all were just friends, they all love each other," she said. "They did a musical thing, and almost every song they sang said, 'I love you,' in it ... it was just a really caring group of people ... they were just normal kids."
The project puts Moretz in the home stretch of her Gold Award project, particularly significant because she's the first Gold Award (the highest honor earned by a Girl Scout) candidate at Green Valley-based Girl Scout Troop 10807. She got the heroic idea from the CBS Early Show.
The mother of a young cancer patient made her daughter a superhero cape. The kids at the cancer ward couldn't get enough of the cape, and the mom found herself making dozens more.
Moretz knew it was the perfect project.
"I just thought it would be a good thing to do, to help them not feel scared," she said. "A lot of people in my family have had cancer ... and it's rough. For a kid to have cancer, it would be really rough."
"I think it's great," Moretz's mother, Janet Moretz, said. "I'm really impressed with what she chose to do."
The Moretz ladies are no stranger to cancer causes. The pair has been active for years in Relay for Life, and Hollie has even been recognized for her charity work (both with Relay for Life and Hospice) by The Mountain Times, Watauga Democrat and All About Women Magazine. To Moretz, it's not about recognition.
"The kids gave me all these little thank you notes," she said.
But it's not about the gratitude either. "It's just something I've always done," she said.
And something she'll continue to do.
Camp CARE (Cancer Ain't Really the End) gives kids (6-18 years old) the chance to get away from the realities of living with cancer and a chance to share their thoughts with other juvenile cancer patients. For more information, check out http://www.campcare.org.