Nine-year-old girls to collect donations for RAM

BUCHANAN — Last summer, Eloise Herrick and Kate Holloway, both 9 years old, saw a need in the Buchanan community and decided they needed to give back.

The two set up a stand at the Buchanan Farmer’s Market to accept donations of packaged goods to be given to families in need. They expected to receive maybe a few items. Instead, they received more than 1,000 and needed to call a trailer to help haul their collection away.

“We couldn’t fit it in our cars,” said Herrick’s mother, Mimi. “We called Kate’s dad to bring a trailer, and we were shocked that we filled the entire trailer up with bags and boxes of food. It was really great to see that. We are so proud of them.”

Now, the girls are back at it with another fundraiser and food drive this Thursday.

The food drive, called the second annual Fill Up a Trailer, will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday outside the Buchanan Police Department, 720 E. Front St. The girls are seeking boxed food items, canned goods, paper products, hygiene items and baby goods. Monetary donations will also be accepted, and the girls have set up a Gofundme page to raise funds.

All donations will benefit Redbud Area Ministries, which provides food, clothing and temporary financial assistance to individuals and families in need.

Hoping to make the food drive and fundraiser an annual event, Herrick and Holloway hosted their first fundraiser after meeting RAM Executive Director Jan Nowak-Walters through Girl Scouts. When Nowak-Walters gave the girls a tour of RAM, they were struck by the sight of empty shelves. That is when they decided to fill them.

“I feel like we helped a lot to get more donations,” Holloway said. “It was a huge change to see the shelves all filled up.”

“We had a lot of fun doing it, so we decided to it again,” Herrick added. “It makes me feel happy to know I’m helping someone.”

Already, through their Gofundme page, Herrick and Holloway have raised more than $400 for RAM. They are hoping to raise a total of $500 and 1,100 items at Thursday’s fundraiser.

Nowak-Walters said she was grateful to the girls for their efforts during a season when donations tend to be lighter, adding that she was inspired to see young children choosing to do something to help others.

“This kind of support is critical and helps us meet the demand that we have,” she said. “It’s really exciting to watch our area, our region and our kids respond that the need.”

To donate to the Gofundme, visit gofundme.com and search for Second Annual Fill Up a Truck for RAM.

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