Six-year-old named Katie’s Krops Top Volunteer

A 6-year-old child is helping lead the charge to end hunger, as the Ridgeville-based Lily Hartline was recently recognized as Katie’s Krops’ Volunteer of the Year.

The youngest Katie’s Krops’ volunteer to ever receive the honor began contributing her services at the tender age of three alongside her mother, Erin Hartline, by delivering meals and more, according to the organization’s Chief Executive Gardner and Founder Katie Stagliano. 

Located in Summerville, Katie’s Krops is a is a youth-based non-profit focused on cultivating and maintaining vegetable gardens in the interest of donating produce and inspiring others to follow the group’s lead. 

Lily has subscribed to that mission of growing and giving back through her efforts of establishing a garden in her family’s backyard and donating what’s harvested. 

Lily and her mom, it was noted, have distinguished themselves for supporting Katie’s Krops’ free garden-to-family dinners, which are provided to local individuals and families coping with hunger and various degrees of food insecurity and/or scarcity. 

“Lily has always gone above and beyond with her kindness, generosity and dedication to helping her community,” reported Stagliano. She went on to recall how Lily arrived at a garden workday with every penny she had saved in her piggy bank to assist struggling families. “There was not a dry eye to be found.” 

The altruistic youngster was also commended for spearheading a campaign to save monarch butterflies in the charitable organization’s flagship garden. 

“Lily has the biggest heart and the sweetest spirit. I met Lily several years ago when she was 4-years-old and came to our garden to help with our MLK Day Service Project. Her mom shared that she was so excited to come after reading “Katie’s Cabbage,” that she got up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep,” related Stagliano. 

In addition to the child’s hard work and diligence in supporting the needy, Lily was further cited for her contagious enthusiasm, which spreads smiles wherever she goes, per Stagliano, and has made the precocious little girl a friend to everyone she has met or worked with. 

“She truly is proof that age is just a number. No matter how young or old you are, you can make a tremendous impact on the world,” added Stagliano.