Kits to Heart is proud to shine a spotlight this month on Lyle Erickson, a student at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD, who has been volunteering for us since the summer of 2020.
He has skillfully applied his unique ability that he picked up as a third grader making origami polyhedron and other 3D ornaments to bring holiday cheer for our recipients these past few years.
These one-of-a-kind origami ornaments make me smile every time I receive a batch of them, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to share such thoughtfully and intricately made gifts with our recipients every holiday season!
Kits to Heart: How did you get started making origami? What prompted you to then start making origami ornaments?
Lyle Erickson: I started making origami when I was younger making paper airplanes and always wanted to make the perfect plane and throw the perfect throw. I made more origami for my elementary school’s International Night for the Japan table. I did this once a year for many years even after I graduated from elementary school. I later found a module origami book in Japan that contained many complex origamis ornament instructions.
KTH: What made you want to share these ornaments with Kits to Heart recipients?
LE: During the summer of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19, all of my activities for the summer were suddenly canceled, but I still wanted to do something for others. I searched for volunteer work on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center site, and I found Kits to Heart and thought it was the perfect opportunity to earn service hours while creating these origami ornaments. My goal of my ornaments was to provide amazement about its complexity and to spark joy in the observers’ eyes.
KTH: What’s the most special part for you when it comes to volunteering for Kits to Heart?
LE: The most special part about Kits to Heart to me was that I didn’t have to be a doctor to still be able to directly make a good impact for the recipients of the care packages.
KTH: What would you say to someone interested in volunteering for Kits to Heart?
LE: [Make sure] the volunteer work fits well into your schedule and to your abilities. The consistency of working in your free time and doing something that best suits your abilities presents the results that Kits to Hearts looks for. So, anyone interested can do it as long as they have the heart and determination to cheer on others.
Indeed! We are incredibly grateful for the time and skills that Lyle dedicates to this cause to craft such quality gifts, especially during the holidays. Learn more about how you can get involved!