First grader turns snow days into fundraising effort

Friday, January 19, 2018

SIKESTON -- After watching an online video about another child's act of kindness, a Sikeston first grader was inspired to create her own fundraiser during her recent snow days from school.

"I watched this girl on You Tube Kids, and she wanted to raise money for the hospital," recalled 6-year-old Carley King, who is the daughter of Brooke and Chad King of Sikeston.

The child in the video collected money and donated it to her local hospital, but Carley wanted to create a fundraiser.

Brooke King said her daughter originally wanted to have a lemonade stand, but she convinced Carley to think of another idea.

Carley came up with making bracelets. She decided she'd make beaded bracelets and accept donations, which she will give to Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.

"We had to go out and get some kits to make them," Carley said of her supplies.

The kits included colorful beads, flat pendants and stickers Carley could string and create a truly one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

To help get the word out, Carley and her mother made a video and posted it on her mother's Facebook.

"I told her: 'If you're going to do this, it's going to come from you,'" Brooke King said.

King said she recorded her daughter as she sat in her bedroom, making the bracelets and answering questions about herself and her project.

In the video, Carley told her mother: "I want to raise money for the hospital."

"People texted my mom and whenever they texted, we had to make a bracelet for them," Carley said.

Throughout her nearly week-long snow break from school, Carley took and order for and made 50 bracelets.

"The night before she started on the bracelets, she said: 'When I wake up in the morning, I'm gonna get right to work and not even eat breakfast,'" her mother recalled, adding she suggested her daughter eat breakfast first.

That first day Carley set up her supplies at the kitchen table and made 20 bracelets, she said. After that, she set smaller -- but doable -- goals to break up the day and still meet her quota.

"I would do a little bit and take a break," Carley said.

Carley recommended others find a project to help others.

"It's been fun," Carley said.

While those who placed orders for bracelets didn't make design requests, Carley said she still tried to personalize each bracelet to the person she was making it for. For example, she'd include names or monograms or special stickers.

Before she returned to school on Friday, Carley and her mother began the delivering process.

"Some of them are getting mailed and others we'll be delivering around town," King said.

Carley's original goal was to raise $100 and she's well on her way to surpass that goal. On Friday, she had already raised $70 and still had over half of her brackets to deliver.

Now that school is back in session, Carley will take a break from making bracelets, and once she has collected all of her donations, she will deliver the proceeds to Missouri Delta Medical Center. Her mother said Carley would like to donate the money to a department within in the hospital that helps other kids.

In the meantime, Carley's parents said they are proud of their daughter's act of kindness.

"I'm pretty dang proud of her for the doing it," Chad King said of Carley's fundraising project.

Her mother agreed.

"I'm proud of her," Brooke King said of her daughter. "She has a very caring heart. I don't know that a lot of 6 years olds are thinking about helping others."

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