February 2, 2014

OUR VIEW: Don't think you can't change the world


---- — If you ever find yourself feeling small and unable to make a difference in the world, remember 9-year-old Abby Williamson.

The Caston fourth-grader has been putting a craft kit she received for Christmas to good use. With cases of the brightly colored elastic bands made by Creat-a-Loomz — we hear they’re all the rage these days with the young’ns — she’s making bracelets to sell to her friends.

She’s not using the money to go to the movies or buy a new video game. She’s raising money to give to an orphanage on the other side of the world. She’s spending her time to help children she’s never even met. Children she’ll likely never meet. If it wasn’t for her attendance at New Life Alliance Church in Logansport, it’s unlikely Abby would even know of the orphans’ existence. It was at church that Abby heard Sam John talk about the Fellowship Mission School for orphans in India.

When Abby’s story reached our newsroom, it was something we instantly knew we wanted to feature in the paper. A story of selfless love deserves to be told. When we published the story, Abby’s customers for the 50-cent bracelets had not stretched beyond her circle of friends and family.

It seemed others couldn’t help but tell Abby’s story. After publication on our website, the story was picked up by the Indianapolis Star and also appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

As more news outlets started publishing Abby’s story on their websites, her circle of customers increased. She’s now getting orders from all over the state. A church in Carmel asked for 100 bracelets. Others have asked for just one or a couple bracelets but are paying up to $20 for them.

To those customers, it’s clearly more about the cause than the bracelet.

Abby has so many requests coming in for bracelets that she’s recruited help from other girls at her church to meet the demand.

What started as a hobby and a simple fundraiser has turned into something much bigger. And it’s all because one little girl saw a need and decided to do something about it.

Because of one little girl, more people know about the children left behind at that orphanage in India. Because of one little girl, those children might have a better tomorrow because of the money they’re receiving. One little girl is making the world a better place, one bracelet at a time.

So, if you think you can’t make a difference, remember Abby Williamson.