Shelby County amazes time and again

Published 8:25 pm Monday, May 4, 2020

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If you’ve lived in Shelby County for a while now, you know it is basically like one big tight-knit community, and that continues to be on display through the helping efforts of neighbors during the battle against COVID-19.

A few weeks ago, Helena resident Kylie Anderson went out of her way to start supplying meals, food, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and other essential items during a difficult time.

Eventually, Anderson struggled to meet the demand.

With so many out of work and so many struggling to find the items they needed, Anderson could only do so much.

But every time she seemingly is going to have to stop helping others, somebody in the community steps up by donating money via Venmo or other ways.

Most recently, it was a 5-year old Helena girl, who stepped up.

Annabel Handley, with the help of her dad Will Handley, went out of her way to open a lemonade stand, not to raise money for herself, but to raise money and supplies for Anderson to give to others.

“We saw a lot of people doing different things to raise money to help with COVID-19 relief, and we had heard about Kylie Anderson who has been giving away supplies to those in need,” Will Handley explained. “I thought her actions made her a great role model for my daughter and I decided that we could do something to help her out.”

With a sign that read $1 for lemonade or a donation, Handley also had Anderson’s Venmo account listed.

Throughout the two-day process over the weekend, Handley saw more than 50 people and raised $150 in cash.

But like her dad said, it wasn’t about the money raised, it was about the community support and the message behind it. Some of the guests to Handley’s lemonade stand didn’t even get lemonade, they just went out of their way to share a donation.

“As a parent I really want Annabel to have the quality of being charitable with the community,” Will Handley said. “Through this project, she got to see charity happening around her, she saw the generosity of the community and how they came together, and I just think it was a really great lesson for her.”

When it was all said and done, Anderson herself came by Handley’s lemonade stand to thank her and pick up the donation to go out and continue making a difference.

It was one of many continued shining examples of what is happening across Shelby County.

Sometimes, we don’t realize who we are having an impact on, but in Anderson’s case, it was a 5-year old who is now making a difference of her own and continues to give us hope of togetherness as we battle the unknown of COVID-19 in Shelby County.