It has been an amazing experience this last year raising money for children facing hunger in our community. With two months until Gabbie and Alice's 9th birthday, we are now moving forward for their new birthday wish.
Once again the girls are asking not for gifts for themselves, but to have birthdays that will make the world a better place. 2015 will be the year of "Gabbie and Alice Turn Nine and Help the Canine"
This year, they are turning their huge hearts to their four legged friends and helping out the animal shelters in their area.
They are accepting cash donations as well as old blankets and towels, dog and cat food, animal toys, cat litter and cleaning supplies.
Follow us, donate if you can, spread the word and watch the amazing things that happen with two little girls set out to change the world.
An update for all of you who have donated and followed the amazing good that Gabbie and Alice have done.
Tomorrow at the Albert S. Hall School (4th and 5th grade) in Waterville a new food pantry is opening. This will provide access to food to over 200 additional kids in our town. This would not have been possible without each and every one of you. Thank you so very much.
On Tuesday, the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northern New England presented the girls with the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award.
The girls were surprised with a video tribute from some of the special people in their lives. Watch it with tissues, it's beautiful.
Been a bit of a slacker with updates- sorry! Here are some of the awesome things Gabbie and Alice have been up to this summer. The girls got to meet the Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, (photo attached) were awarded the AFP- NNE Demont Scholarship Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, (a $2,500 college scholarships for each girl, photo attached) and inspired Diversified Communications in Portland, Maine to raise over 7,000 pounds of food for the food bank at Prebble Street.
Gabbie and her family also participated in a food truck distribution with Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Greater Waterville Area Food Bank. (Photo attached)
Even over summer "vacation" these two are outstanding advocates for helping end hunger. What rockstars!
It's never too early to start planning the next big thing, and with their 9th birthdays a mere 6 months away, the girls have decided to "Turn nine and help the canine" and will be celebrating next year by raising money and donations for the Humane Society. This is in addition to their continued speaking engagements on helping with hunger in our community and ya know- being third graders. :)
Total raised is up to $41,450, and I have a message from Gabbie's dad, Scott that I am delighted to pass on, as well as a link to Gabbie and Alice on the radio this morning.
"If you didn't get a chance to listen to them on the radio this morning, you may want to go online to hear what they had to announce. With the HUGE success in their fundraising efforts for the George J. Mitchell School's in house food pantry, they have announced that they would like to now focus on ending hunger in schools around the state.
The girl's would like to continue to raise as many funds as possible in order to help with possible start up costs for food pantry's in schools throughout the state. We will be putting together a plan in which school systems would be able to petition for their school in order to be considered for the start of monies. Of course in order to move forward with this, we would once again be looking for donations in order to grow an account in which the money would be drawn from. This account would not be part of the current account in which so many kind family, friends, and absolute strangers contributed to already.
If you could please share your thoughts on this possibility, and share this status in order to reach as many people as possible, that would be of great assistance in what direction to move forward with."
Gabbie and Alice turn eight and feed the state" has a nice ring to it don't you think? :)
Looking for some feedback. The following is a message from Gabbie's father, Scott. Please let us know what you think about expanding and trying to help some other kids in other towns. You are our donors, supporters and followers- you have helped make this possible, and we'd love to have you as part of this process.
"I don't think someone could put a better success story down on paper.
The three major components that made this successful are as follows.
1) The story of two very kind hearted, selfless 8yr old girls who put their classmates needs over their own wants.
2) An unbelievable advocate in Jennifer Johnson, who made sure this wonderful story was reached by as many people who would listen. Jenn's never ending drive to make sure all children do not go hungry, is in my book, second to none.
3) The almost two hundred donors who are not only from our community, but from all over the country.
As all of our family and friends know, the girls have been very busy the last few weeks. The one constant that we have heard from everyone, is just how amazing it is that two young girls can make such a difference for so many others.
This cause is very near and dear two both of these girls. A few weeks ago we had the privilege to join Jenn, and her husband David to the Good Shepherd Food Banks annual dinner. During the evening we and the girls listened to some wonderful speakers, including Jenn. When the principal from one of the Lewiston schools spoke, she also used a terrific slide show to help support the point she was trying to get across to the audience. As Gabbie heard and the story of so many hungry kids, her eyes filled with tears and she needed to be comforted by her mother for the remainder of the segment.
With all of this said, what would everyone out there in Facebook land think about the girls taking there story and kind deeds into other communities in the state? With their story, and Jenn's incredible drive and knowledge, along with some supporting parents, do you think this would be a good opportunity to help others?
Believe it or not, there are communities in the state much worse off than Waterville. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. This is not a definite, only a possibility to help other hungry children in our state. "
"Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love." - Reinhold Niebuhr
Today we see our total raised go up to $40,390. This seems to be an excellent time to share some thanks for some behind the scenes people that have made all of this possible.
When Gabbie and Alice told their parents what they wanted to do for their 8th birthdays, it would have been so easy to say, "That's so sweet of you, but this is your special day. Let's worry about that later and celebrate you now. It would have been easy for them to just say "Food can be dropped off at the party" instead of driving all over the place to pick up food collected for them by people unable to attend the party. It would have been easy to not take time off work to take them to interviews and events, to not store three rooms full of food (making parts of their house virtually unusable for weeks!) to not arrange for trucks and helpers to deliver it all to the school in the dead of night so that the girls could have a surprise at school the next morning. Easier still not to use time off from work to fly across the country with their little girls so they could be on the Ellen DeGeneres show and receive the biggest donation we have had so far.
Ann, Paul, Scott and Karen- thank you. There has not been a single time you have chosen to take the easy way, you have stood by your babies and let them take their dream as far as they could. You're all wonderful parents doing such a good job raising such amazing people. I am every bit as thankful to the four of you as I am to your daughters.
Gabbie and Alice have now raised $40,245! That is more than TEN YEARS of food available to the children in their community. They have raised enough money that will be feeding our community's children until they are 18 years old... So proud, humbled and thankful all at once.
Here is the link to them on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today... it's pretty awesome.
Last week Gabbie and Alice, along with a representative from the George J. Mitchell School PTO, were invited to attend Good Shepherd Food Bank's annual JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award
Dinner & Celebration. Everyone had a fabulous time and enjoyed some truly outstanding food while raising money to help end hunger in Maine- a state where one in four children are food insecure.
The PTO received a note today from Good Shepherd Food Bank that read "Your school's story, especially the work of Gabbie and Alice, was definitely one of the high points of the evening."
Here are the girls- having a blast drinking ginger-ale out of their coffee cups at the "fancy grown up party." More exciting things in store for them coming up- next month they are meeting with Maine's Governor, Paul LePage. Who knows what the future hold for these pint sized movers and shakers, but whatever it is, they will certainly have a great time doing it together.
We are currently holding steady at $19,600, think we can get it up to an even $20K before their meeting in the state capitol? It's only $400 away, and at this point we are convinced that ANYTHING is possible with these two!
The good just keeps coming. :) A local 7th grader was inspired by Gabbie and Alice and threw her own food/fundraiser for Gabbie and Alice's Purple Panther Pantry on her birthday. How amazing are these kids?!?
Gabbie and Alice have some exciting things coming up in recognition of the tremendous job they have done getting food for the students in their school!
In April they will be honored guests at the Good Shepherd Food Bank's Jo Ann Pike Humanitarian Award Dinner and Celebration. Good Shepherd Food Bank is the source of the majority of the food purchased for "Gabbie and Alice's Purple Panther Pantry," and were key players in getting it started in the George J. Mitchell School last fall.
In May they have been invited to the state capitol to meet Maine's governor, Paul LePage.
It seems the whole state of Maine is bursting with pride at these amazing girls, and they inspired kids in their school to learn what they already knew: you are never too young to make a difference.
How amazing are you all? If we can raise another $1,135 Gabbie and Alice will have raised enough to feed the kids in their school for four years!!
How about some more amazing numbers? The link to this page has been shared on Facebook 719 times, we have 284 " likes" on out Facebook pages. Let's see if we can round out those numbers. We need 16 more Facebook likes, 31 more shares and $35 more raised to get all our stuff ending in 0's! We can do it- share, share, share!!
"These two girls are so close to reaching $20,000 in their first month of helping their fellow classmates. Their fund raising efforts are almost at a point in which they will be able to open this program up to other schools in Waterville in the near future.
This is not just a one time event that stemmed from the girls birthday wish, but one that will need to be continuous in order to feed kids for years to come.
Since Gabbie and Alice got involved in helping their classmates, I have seen firsthand how bad things are in our communities. I know this is an issue everywhere these days, but if we all don't do our share to help, it will only get worse moving forward.
If such a selfless act from two eight year old girls can do so much for others, what do you think will happen if we all decide to follow in their footsteps?
Please consider a small donation on their behalf, and make sure "Gabbie and Alice's Purple Panther Pantry," stays open for years to come."
Well that was easy! Let folks know we will share more details when we hit $5,500 and we get to $5,540 in about 30 minutes! As mentioned earlier- we are naming the food pantry after Gabbie and Alice, in honor of all they have done and the amazing spirit of helping their community.
We have two very special guests who will be attending that are pretty familiar with having things named after them. Retired US Senator George J. Mitchell - the man our school was named after is flying in to meet Gabbie and Alice and thank them personally for what they are doing. Bill Alfond and his wife will also be attending to recognize these girls. For non-local Gabbie and Alice fans, the Alfond family are passionate supporters of children in our state and it's pretty hard to go anywhere without passing several large building bearing the Alfond name. Gabbie and Alice will be in good company with these folks. They are are all changing the world through their support of others, and they all have stuff named after them What a cool club to be in!
How about a couple more celebration details and an updated total? Gabbie and Alice have now raised $5,460! Woah!
The George J. Mitchell School PTO will be presenting the girls with a sign that will hang in the food pantry forever, naming it after them in honor of the amazing job they have done. "Gabbie and Alice's Purple Panther Pantry"
How about two cool things to start you day off with a smile?
1) We have now raised $5,440!!
2)Here are some details about what we are doing for Gabbie and Alice to show them how awesome we think they are!
The entire school will be assembled and the food they have collected will be heaped up in a giant mountain of food on the stage. Their parents, our mayor, our senator, and a representative from our congresswoman will be there to personally thank them as well as representatives from multiple non-profits to encourage them to keep working for change an tell them how inspired we all are by them... and that's not all...
Q: What do you get when you mix fifty male deer and fifty female pigs?
A: One hundred sows and bucks. (Say it out loud if you need too, I'll wait)
Yep, $100,000 is our goal, and I think we can reach it if you keep sharing and spreading the word. Hey, we've already raised $5,370! There are so many good people in the world that want to help out- let's get them to see this and give them an outlet for their desire to feed hungry kids, change the world or just make two little girl's birthday wish come true. We can do this!
OHMYGOSH We just passed $5,000. Gabbie and Alice's #BirthdayWish has raised enough money to run for a full year. To provide nutritious food to any of the 800 students who may need it - and their families.
Gabbie and Alice now think this is over and we are done. Until today they have been checking the totals raised and looking at the Facebook page and reading all the lovely comments and posts there. They are not going to be doing this anymore so we can keep this secret from them...
We are throwing them a "Yay for you!" event on March 5th that is so big their entire school will be attending, as well as many people who also share Gabbie and Alice's passion to help others and wanted to meet and thank them personally- some traveling quite far to attend. We have some big surprises in store for them, and some big kudos from some high places. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details, and fear not and we will have plenty media covering it so we will have more news clips, articles and pictures to share with you. This is going to be BIG.
As always, please keep sharing- the bigger the check we can give them the better, let's get to $5,000 and let them know they have made food available for nearly 800 kids in their town for an entire year!
While we were sleeping our total jumped up a couple hundred dollars- $3,340 raised! That is less than $1,700 away from having the pantry funded for an entire school year! More than halfway there! How huge would it be to tell the girls that no one in their school will go hungry for an entire year because of what they did! WOW! Keep sharing and let's get to $5,000 and blow them away!
Ka-Pow! You hear that? It's the sound of this just blowing up! Just like that we have passed $2,000. Gabbie and Alice's parents just gave interviews to The Ellen Show today- so there's that to look forward too. How exciting is this?!
WOW! $1,650 raised already!?! That is more than 4 months of food pantry totally funded! You all are AMAZING! If you can't donate, and want to help come to our facebook page and leave a birthday message for Alice and Gabbie. Wile you're at it give them a big "Way to go!" Show them how completely awesome we think they are for this selfless act of birthday love. They are compassion in action!
Gabbie and Alice are second graders at the George J. Mitchell School in Waterville, Maine. The school, demographically, based on the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch, is one of the poorest in the state. In an effort to prevent evening/weekend/vacation hunger among its students and their families, the school opened a no questions asked food pantry IN the school in 2013. Best friends Gabbie and Alice, knowing the school's dire situation, decided to hold a joint 8th birthday party, in which they asked for donations to the food pantry, in lieu of gifts. Their teacher, Mrs. Saulter, was so touched by their plans, that she secretly asked the PTO what they could do to make a big deal of these generous, selfless young ladies. PTO President Jennifer Johnson thought what better way to celebrate them than to make their wish come true on the largest possible scale? The food pantry has operating costs of $5,000/year. Raising $5k would mean Gabbie and Alice made sure families in need were fed for an entire year. Raising $50k would feed this town in need for TEN years. And for $100k, Gabbie and Alice would feed needy kids in the school for TWENTY YEARS! With the food pantry funded for twenty years, the school would be able to afford to expand to include fourth and fifth graders, a much needed expansion for this small town. So please, won't you help us celebrate Gabbie and Alice's 8th birthdays by making their wildest dreams come true? What they want more than anything is for their classmates and their families to be taken care of. Every single little donation helps, and encourages not only these girls, but others that come after them, to embrace the spirit of community and generosity. It sends the message that even kids can make a difference in the world. It feeds a families in need. And it will make these girls' 8th birthday party one this community will NEVER forget. Thank you for donating!
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