Seventh grader starts non-profitPublished 2:44pm Thursday, May 2, 2013
A former Patrick Hamilton student who started a non-profit to help families in need of clothing and baby items returned to her elementary school Wednesday afternoon to hand out garments heaped on tables.
Anayda Lucio only had to come across town from Dowagiac Middle School, where she is a seventh grader.
“We’re doing a clothes drive for people who need it the most because some can’t afford to buy them,” said Anayda, who calls her non-profit Beautiful Struggles — “The reason of our struggles doesn’t matter because it doesn’t make things less beautiful.”
“My uncle in particular came up with this name. It clicked,” she said.
Anayda started school at McKinley. When it closed and Pat Ham returned to a grade school from a middle school, she was in second grade.
“Coming to this school changed me and helped me see better,” she said. “This school is where I came up with the idea. Some clothing we had, but most of it is from donations from family members and friends who had extra. I’ve been working on it for a month. All this is free, going to small places like churches, but starting with schools. I’m kind of nervous right now, but I think it’s going pretty well.”
She will continue to collect clothes this summer and perhaps have an advertised back-to-school distribution.
Anayda also said, “I’m kind of hoping it works out in the winter for those who don’t have anything to stay warm.”
She wasn’t “into this kind of stuff” until third grade in Gloria Staten’s classroom, when “I started understanding how much people need. I always thought we had it bad, but there are a lot of people who have it worse than we do. We went to Texas once and saw people who needed a lot of help. I felt really bad for them and wanted to do more.”
Anayda is the second of four children. She has an older brother and two sisters.
Her parents, Ricardo and Crystal Lucio, “Think it’s an amazing thing to do. As parents, they always say seeing a child like this is the greatest thing. My family encourages me a lot. Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. (Principal Heather) Nash do, too.”
“Sometimes, people who do this want something in return,” Anayda said. “All I want in return is people being happy. It really doesn’t matter whether I get anything in return.”
While seventh graders have plenty of time to devise what they want to do when they grow up, Anayda thinks years and great distances down the road.
“This is basically what I want to do when I’m older,” the high-honors flute player said. “Make a difference. We’re starting small, but hopefully, this goes worldwide so it can help a lot more people.”
“We’re so proud of her,” building secretary Cindy Bennett said.
Dowagiac Daily News