Child leads fundraiser

Published 11:44 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

A child’s intent to help babies and families in the area resulted in a fundraiser that has collected $1,500.

Lyla Allen, 5, first saw baby bottles displayed at Faith Bible Fellowship to raise funds for the Pregnancy Support Center of Southside Virginia.

Lyla’s mom, Kendra Allen, said Lyla asked about the bottles, and Kendra explained what they were for.

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“She sat quietly for a few minutes, and then she leaned over to me and whispered, ‘can we take a bottle home for the babies?’” Kendra said.

So the family took a bottle home, and they explored ways to fill the bottle with enough money to donate to the center.

The Pregnancy Support Center of Southside Virginia provides supports for people during and after pregnancy through providing free classes, pregnancy tests and baby items. The main office is at 201 N. Main St. #1106. Satellite offices are located at Ellis Acres Memorial Park in Buckingham County and at 1977 Church St. in Appomattox County.

Lyla had the idea to make chocolate chip cookies to raise funds.

Lyla decided she wanted to take orders for the cookies. Lyla made her own order forms. For a week she took orders from family and friends, getting enough orders for 716 cookies. Each cookie was $1.

Lyla made the cookie dough and helped with baking and packing the cookie order

“She put in a lot of work with this,” Kendra said.

The family lives in Prince Edward County, past The Fishin’ Pig. They homeschool, and Kendra said the project has set back their normal study schedule a bit but said the lessons Lyla is learning are well worth it.

“We are proud of her,” Kendra said. “So, so proud of her.”

People were donating beyond the cost of the cookies. By the time the last cookie sold, Lyla raised $876.51. Her original goal is $1,500.

Kendra said they set the goal to $100 and far exceeded it.

Lyla mentioned while eating lunch with her family shortly after that she still wanted to raise $1,500.

Kendra said she and Earl, her husband, told Lyla about matching funds, or requesting businesses to pay a certain amount that matches the original donation.

She put out a video on Facebook about the project, and met with a few businesses in person, including Kerby Moore with Edward Jones Investment in Farmville. Moore matched $100.

Moore said Lyla, on her own, made a full presentation about her project and requested funds.

Moore was impressed.

“She has a gift that more adults need to have, and that’s to keep it simple,” Moore said. “I asked, ‘why are you doing this?’ and she said ‘to help the mommies and the daddies and the babies.”

Lyla has since received donations from food truck Shut Yo Mouth and Appomattox River Landscapes.

Lyla visited the Pregnancy Support Center office a few times, touring the building and meeting the executive director, Kathy Holsopple.

Kendra hopes Lyla’s project will bring more awareness to the center.

“It’s been a great conversation piece,” Kendra said.