Don’t Waist Your Belt: Olivia Keith
Writer / Kara Reibel . Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Sand Creek Intermediate School’s Olivia Keith is making a difference in the lives of other children.
Since being selected as Miss Indiana Preteen National Teenager, Olivia Keith was inspired to collect new and gently used belts for kids at IPS.
As a component of her Miss Indiana Preteen National Teenager title, Olivia has the honor of giving speeches, one of which was last June. While giving the sixth grade commencement speech at IPS Francis Scott Key School 103, Olivia asked some faculty how she could help.
“Belts were mentioned as a needed item by many students who cannot afford them,” says Olivia. As a result, Don’t Waist Your Belt was created. Olivia, with the help of her parents and generous sponsors, placed bins at local YMCA’s and a few Fishers businesses. To date, Olivia has collected more than 770 belts since this past November’s launch.
Don’t Waist Your Belt is the second not-for-profit Olivia has started. Her first was inspired by her parents’ brain injuries. Olivia’s mom, Darcy, suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident during college. Darcy has minor side effects that she still copes with daily. Olivia’s dad, Chris, has experienced multiple strokes within the last few years.
“Mom and Dad have brain injuries, so it is natural for me to share what I have learned with others in keeping safe while having fun and playing,” said Olivia.
Living with parents with brain injuries, Olivia started speaking in front of her classmates and others about keeping your brain and body safe while playing. These initial presentations started Play It Safe, which has extended outside the classrooms.
Olivia has attended several bike rodeos and procured donated helmets for kids. She recently received grants for $1,500 towards bike helmets to be given away to children who need them.
Olivia Keith is a sixth grader at Sand Creek Intermediate School. In addition to being a full-time student and running two not-for-profits, Olivia plays the viola, sings, enjoys sports and does hip hop dance. Continuing her trend of helping and educating others, Olivia said, “I want to be an elementary school teacher when I grow up.”
Olivia will represent Indiana in Washington, D.C., as the middle school winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for her Play It Safe nonprofit organization!
For more information, please visit DontWaistYourBelt.org and DarcyKeith.com.
Tips to Play It Safe
1. Wear a helmet and make sure it fits properly.
2. When outside, always make sure you can be seen.
3. Play by the rules.
4. Buckle up when riding in a car.
5. Have an emergency plan and know how to respond.