Fourth grader reaches out to those in need

By Nicole Burns

For the FCT

It’s hard to say no to 10-year-old Abigail Bell’s sweet little face. It’s even harder to thwart her determination when you hear what she’s doing and why she’s doing it.

This kindhearted East Franklin Junior High School fourth grader is a world-changer in the making, and her mother is both proud and exhausted. “To me, it’s overwhelming because she keeps coming up with ideas, and she expects them to come through,” said mother Amanda Smith. “She’s going to make it happen.”

According to her family, Abigail has raised money for cancer patients and children with cleft palates; collected food, toys and clothes for people in need; and baked sweets for bake sales to benefit others. “I’m just helping different people with things they need,” Abigail said.

Smith said Abby developed a heart to help others at a very young age. “When she was 5 years old, she made bracelets to sell to help a woman who had cancer. She would ask anyone, including men, if they wanted to buy one, and they would end up just handing her money. She raised $90 in one day,” said Smith.

“She’s an excellent student,” said East Franklin Principal Nancy Hallman. “If she was the model of every student we had, we would have a perfect school. She does look out for other people’s feelings, and she is truly kindhearted, and she looks out for the best interest of everybody else.”

Abby said she’s even recruited help from her teachers, like Amanda Nichols. “We gathered up a bunch of fruit and gave it to this man who was really sick, and they kept thanking me a lot, and I wanted to help more people,” said Abby. She and her 4-H group visited a nursing home to deliver Valentine’s Day goodies to residents, and that sparked a whole new idea.

“I’m helping a nursing home with bingo prizes and things. I’m probably going to help them with activities,” said Abby, who also signed up to volunteer her time at the nursing home.

“I’m very proud of her,” said Smith. “It’s very nice of her but very overwhelming. We tell her to be the change you want to see in the world.”

Hallman said anyone wanting to donate bingo prizes to Abby’s current project can drop them off at East Franklin Junior High School, and they will make sure the goods get into Abby’s compassionate hands.

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