‘It makes me happy when I can do something’

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Avery Lawley, daughter of Morgan and GiGi Lawley, looks at the school supplies purchased with money she raised in her annual lemonade stand to benefit SEA’s Project School Supply. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Avery Lawley is a little girl with a big heart.

For the last three years she has responded to the call from Shelby Emergency Assistance for school supplies and clothing for children whose families cannot afford them.

Her annual lemonade stand has provided for many of those who otherwise may have started school empty-handed.

“It makes me sad when I know there are children my age who don’t have school supplies,” said 9-year-old Avery. “It makes me happy when I can do something and help them get some. I am so blessed by all the things I have and I want to give others something so they can feel how good it feels to be blessed just like I am.”

Karen Pendleton, director of SEA, explained that Avery began selling lemonade to raise money for Project School Supply when she was 5 or 6 years old.  “I was very impressed that she showed so much compassion for others at such a young age. I think the most important thing about her project is that it makes you stop and think; if a little girl can make this kind of effort to help others, what would it be like if we all tried to help a little?”

Pendleton noted that the project is especially important this year because our local economic recovery is slow, and this has been a hot summer with high utility bills that have strained families’ limited budgets.

Therefore the need is greater and donations to the project have dropped off.

Last year SEA assisted 242 children with school supplies and 25 families with back-to-school clothing and shoes. The families were able to obtain five outfits per child. Gift certificates were given for each child to SEA’s thrift store to select the clothing.

The goal of SEA this year is to provide the essentials to all of the increased number of children in need.

For folks like Avery who would like to support this effort, the following information will be helpful.

Donors are asked to make donations directly to SEA or to give gently-used clothing and shoes to their thrift store on Main Street in Calera. The clothing and shoes may be dropped off at the store or left at the SEA office, 620 Valley St. in Montevallo. For information, call 665-1942. All donations are tax deductible.

Stop by, too, on this Thursday, the 28th, for a glass of lemonade at Avery’s stand in her grandmother’s yard on Creek Street in Montevallo.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.