Kanaday Makes Difference in World With Soap


About three years ago, junior Grace Kanaday taught herself to make organic soap. It was a simple endeavour, intended to be an easy way to make a little money by selling to friends and family. Her soap was a big success though, and in little to no time, Kanaday was selling it at The Good Earth Garden Center, The Bramble Market and on Etsy. For some, that could be the end of the story, but not for Kanaday.

Although making soap is pretty cool, this was not her true passion. Kanaday’s core values lie in volunteerism. Because of this, she found a way to share the benefits of her business with others. Through the organization Acts4Rwanda, Kanaday traveled to Rwanda to teach women in low-income areas how to make soap so that they could sell it in the United States and make money to sustain their families. She took something that she had created for herself and found a way to give it to others so that they could share in her success. 

The trip to Rwanda was not an isolated event. Kanaday does lots of volunteer work at home, both with her church youth group and with the organization Hope Ignites Life Women’s International, which works with women to teach them the skills they need to make a sustainable income. She’s also been to Honduras, where she helped build houses and provide food to families in need.

“Being a Christian, I believe that God calls us to serve those who have less than we do and share His love with others through the talents He has given us,” Kanaday said. “Many people have different ways of pursuing that, but I feel especially called to serving with women and children in third world countries.”

Kanaday’s soap business came to an end when she came to Central. She had been homeschooled her whole life, but she decided to make the switch junior year after realizing she needed more structure and more opportunities to pursue her academic interests. Public school takes away a lot of her free time, but Kanaday’s passion has not been diminished, and although she isn’t entirely sure what lies ahead for her, she knows she has a future working to help other people. 

If she decides to go to college, Kanaday wants to focus on international issues, building off of her experiences in Rwanda and Honduras. She may also decide to go to seminary school, so that she may continue to spread Christianity. Either way, she plans to take a gap year to allow herself time to figure out her future. Even while she’s doing that, she’ll be dedicating her time to others. Kanaday intends to either partake in the program World Race, which sends participants to multiple countries doing all different types of work, or to find a ministry and live and volunteer there for the year. No matter what Kanaday ends up choosing, she’ll be making positive change while doing something she loves.

“I just get this truly deep and meaningful joy from being able to help people and impact their lives for the better,” Kanaday said.