Gabbie St. Peter and Alice are two best friends in second grade with birthdays a day apart, and they are celebrating together this year in way you might not expect. Instead of asking for gifts for their fete, the Waterville, Maine kids have asked for food donations to help feed their classmates in need.
Gabbie and Alice attend George J. Mitchell School, where nearly 70 percent of students are on free or reduced lunch, making it one of the poorest schools in the state. The little girls are reaching out to friends, family and others to donate food to their drive, and in response, there's also a funding page where they're raising monetary contributions.
In just three days, the girls have accrued over $1,800.
"I'm going to be helping a lot of people," Gabbie tells the Good News Blog. "I hope that I put [hunger] to an end, and make sure there are no more people that are hungry and starving."
The whole idea began when Gabbie and Alice realized many kids at their school were less fortunate, and that there was even a food pantry started to feed them after hours. Gabbie collected things like pasta, cereal, and canned goods so she could add to the supply.
When she and Alice opted to request food in lieu of presents for their 8th birthdays, they began calling loved ones to see what more they could drum up.
"I heard that there was a food drive in my school so then I thought that would be a good way to help kids," Gabbie explains. "I thought that I want the people who don't have food to not be starving."
According to Jennifer Cairns Johnson, who runs the food pantry at the school, Gabbie and Alice have already raised enough money to stock the room for nearly half the year. They've collected a U-Haul's worth of provisions and there's still plenty of time left before they plan to deliver it all on March 5th.
To surprise them, Jennifer and other parents and faculty will be honoring the girls with a party, complete with flowers and superhero capes along with all the donations. Jennifer and her team have contacted all their elected officials, including the Governor, to let them know what the girls are doing, and both the Mayor and a Senator will be in attendance to congratulate them.
"We want to make a big deal out of it, and let them know not only that it is appreciated, but to also inspire other kids to pay it forward too," Jennifer says.
In fact, this isn't the first time Gabbie and Alice have used their birthdays for the greater good. For the past two years, they collected donations for the Humane Society. Gabbie says she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, and though she won't be receiving toys or fancy clothes to celebrate her big day, the young do-gooder says it doesn't bother her a bit.
"I'm not sad, I'm happy," she adds. "For some people that don't have food, food is a present to them."
More of the Good News:
Teen Saves Lives by Speaking to Elephants
Teacher Finds Innovative Way To Keep Students Interested
No Thanks, Santa! 6-Year-Old Writes Letter Requesting Her Holiday Gifts Be Sent to Poor Kids