PORTSMOUTH — What is your 10-year-old doing for their birthday? Well, one special young lady, Abbie Charles from Portsmouth, took her birthday money and did something for the Salvation Army and the homeless.
Abbie saved up her birthday money and put together baskets that contained a blanket, a hat, gloves, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a washcloth, shampoo and hand sanitizer. In addition to those items, Abbi also added a little snack bag with things like peanut butter crackers, beef jerky, and other items that could transport well.
When Abbie started, her mother, Jennifer Charles, said that she received $60 for her birthday and with that, she made 10 baskets for the Salvation Army. Abbie then wanted them to post it on Facebook and challenge people to either make baskets or donate, so Jennifer set up a Venmo account and Abbie raised $300.00.
Abbie’s two grandmothers helped make baskets, which added 20 more baskets and added to the original 10, making the total baskets for the Salvation Army 30 baskets. They had to eventually shut down the Venmo account because people kept donating and they had made all the baskets that they could. The money left, about $70, was donated to the Salvation Army also.
Abbie’s mother said what got Abbie started was that as they were driving in town, Abbie noticed the homeless people standing out on the corners and Abbie’s mom and dad (Keith) had conversations with their girls, Abbie and her twin sister Maddie who are 10 and their older daughter Emily who is 11, about how there are people that go without and people who due to whatever circumstances, need help. They are always talking about the best way to help those people. Jennifer said, “It was just something that weighed on her (Abbie).”
It was there that Abbie took her own birthday money and she decided what to do and what would go in the baskets. All by herself, it was all her idea, according to her mother. Not only did they donate the baskets, but they also keep a few in their car in case they see someone out and about, and that way, she can hand them out.
“I thought it was important to make baskets for people who need them because people normally get too caught up in their own lives to realize that there are people who have no one to care about them or love them,” Abbi said. “That’s why I decided to make baskets for the homeless. That way, they would know that there is someone who cares about them and loves them and that there is always someone thinking about them.”
One of her mother’s friends also nominated Abbie for Kid of the Week for the national radio broadcast K-Love and Abbie was chosen. You can see a short video of Abbie on K-Love’s Facebook page under Skip & Amy Morning show (Kid of the Week), dated Feb. 17.
Abbie has received two thank you notes from people who had gotten a basket, and she has had people tell her they saw someone with one of her baskets. The baskets were given when the warming stations were open, and it was perfect timing.
Abbie’s mother shared the other two sisters are now working on their own projects because Abbie did something so special.
“We want our girls to know that there are people that do not have the things that they have. It’s really nice to see them not only recognize it but to want to do something about it,” Jennifer said.
On the Salvation Army’s Facebook page, the organization thanked Abbi for her donation and hard work.
“A huge thank you to Abbie! She has been making baskets of essential items for us to hand out at the warming shelter and to those who need them most! She has gone above and beyond in her kindness and generosity! Thank you for “Doing the Most Good!”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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