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. "
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!