Hilton eighth grader brightens the holidays for seniors

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Mallory Heise, an eighth grader at Merton Williams Middle School in Hilton, has collected the tops of squeezable applesauce packets since fourth grade, gathering over 3,000 caps. 

“I saw that a lot of people had applesauce pouches at lunch, and figured the cap would be an easy thing to collect since they were popular and it kept them from going in the garbage,” Mallory said. “Word began to spread and I started to receive bags of them from students and staff.”

Mallory Heise, an eighth grader at Merton Williams Middle School in Hilton, with the more than 3,000 applesauce caps she’s collected since fourth grade.

Mallory started brainstorming ideas on how she could use the caps and turned to Pinterest for ideas. Her mom, Carla, a first grade teacher at Village Elementary School, heard from Dawn Byfield, activity director at Elderwood of Lakeside in Brockport, about how difficult this time is for residents because they are unable to see family during the pandemic.

“I wanted them to know that people are thinking about them,” Mallory said. 

She got to work making 100 reindeer, Christmas tree and wreath ornaments with her caps, which took at least 10 hours. The National Junior Honor Society member plans to use those hours to help fulfill her 15-hour volunteering requirement.

Mallory Heise with the 100 ornaments she made for Elderwood residents in Brockport.

“I learned that even the little things you do can make a bigger difference in other people’s lives,” she said.” I’ve always known that I would reuse the caps and make them into something, and it turned out that this was the perfect opportunity.”

Elderwood activity director Dawn Byfield accepts a box of ornaments from Mallory Heise.