Making a Difference One Ribbon at a Time

Story by Tabatha Duvall

The 4th grade can be an exciting year for kids: learning about economics and the beginnings of algebra, Pee Wee football, basketball, and cheerleading, and figuring out boy’s don’t have cooties after all. For Kamrie Ewing, a 4th grader at Dover Elementary, she’s figured out a way to make a lasting difference in the community.

A friend had brought Kamrie a hair ribbon, and she decided to learn how to make them. Using the ribbon as template, and help from her mom, she started making them and selling them where she could to earn a little money. Kamrie’s parents, Melanie and David, had told her once she had saved some money, she could use it to buy whatever she wanted to spend it on.

Melanie laughed, “We didn’t think she’d make 30 bucks, but in one night at a baseball game she made over $100. We got home, counted the money, and she ran into the office and screamed as loud as she could!” She began selling wherever she was allowed: the fair, Starbucks, sporting events, and to cheerleading squads.

When asked what she wanted to buy with the money, she shocked her parents letting them know she wanted to give it to charity. She explains, “I knew I had everything I needed, like a mom and dad and toys, so I decided to give it to charity. One of Mama’s friends asked me ‘One person can make a difference, can’t they?’”

Values of giving and compassion were instilled in Kamrie, and her older brother Christian, at a young age. At Christmas, their parents would take them to the store and buy a toy to give to another child at Main Street Mission. They had to give the toy away and wouldn’t get anything in return.

Melanie continued, “Maybe that left an impression. We always try to remind the kids of families that are less fortunate than us. She’s never wanted to quit raising the money or keep the money for herself. I thought for a while she’d want to buy something eventually, but she never wanted anything.” Her initial goal of $100 for homeless children quickly tripled, and she decided to expand her goals.

Kamrie had heard about 11-year old Korey Heath, her coach’s daughter’s who was battling cancer, and knew she could be able to help. Kamrie reveals, “It was sad because she has a lot of life ahead of her. It makes me feel good that a girl can be changed. One bag of medicine is over a thousand dollars and she has to go every week.”

In September, she was able to hand the Heaths $1000, and by December was able to give the family another thousand.

Soon after reaching her second thousand dollar goal, Kamrie again broadened her horizons with the “Operation Bookmark Happiness.” Classrooms were able to be sponsored and receive bookmarks made by Kamrie, and the money for the sponsorship went to charity. Within five days she had raised $2,000 for the Southern Christian Home in Morrilton, which currently houses 49 children. In those five days she had 106 classrooms sponsored in Arkansas, Mississippi, Iowa, and California. Four days before Christmas, she delivered the money, hair ribbons, and bookmarks to the orphanage.

Later the same evening, half of the 27 classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., devastated by a school shooting, were sponsored. As of mid- January 2013, all of the classrooms at Sandy Hook have been sponsored, and she had an additional $800 to donate to Southern Christian home.

She is still taking donations to have classrooms sponsored through “Operation Bookmark Happiness.” More information about this project is available at www. kamriescolorfulcreations.wordpress.com, or on Facebook by searching “Kamrie’s Colorful Creations” or “Operation Bookmark Happiness.”

One person can make a difference, can’t they?

 

 

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