Reina P. Cunningham
In light of Monday’s tragic events at the Boston Marathon, the “52 Weeks of Giving” children decided to do a fundraiser to honor 8-year-old Martin Richard. Richard was a victim of the Boston bombing while he waited near the finish line for his father to complete the race.
The children set up tables at both entrances of the Food City in Middlesboro. From 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. they asked shoppers for a donation. Those who donated received a book and a cupcake or cookie.
One of the older members of the group, Jay Dee Hart, could not quit smiling as he helped the younger children raise money.
“I think it’s fun, I love it, I love doing it, I love being able to carry around the kids,” said Hart. “I love being able to give back to the community.”
“We like to play with him,” chimed in one of the younger members, Jacquelin Stanley, 6, who passed out fliers from Hart’s shoulders most of the afternoon.
Hart is a senior at Middlesboro High School and has been with the group since August. He is going to spread his acts of kindness beyond Bell County by joining the military.
“I ship out July 9 for basic training,” explained Hart.
Members of the community graciously donated to the children — some individuals gave as much as $20 to the cause. The group raised almost $600 to be sent to the Boston Public Library to purchase books in honor of Richard.
Food City and Middlesboro’s HOME (Homeschoolers On a Mission Everyday) both donated cookies and cupcakes to the event. McDonald’s provided supper for the children.
Good Morning America filmed the fundraiser for today’s show that is honoring ‘52 Weeks’ for winning “Disney Time Hometown Celebration.” GMA’s Cameron Mathison helped the children of “52 Weeks of Giving” raise money in honor of Richard. After the successful fundraiser, the children decided to go ahead and do the the Earth Day cleanup they originally had planned for this week. The children walked up and down Cumberland Avenue picking up trash and cleaning storefront windows. Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, firstname.lastname@example.org.