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ROCKLAND, Maine — A 7-year-old girl from Warren is proving you’re never too young to start giving back to your local community — especially in times of crisis.
Over the past week, Alexandrea Fullerton has been raising money for Pen Bay Medical Center and the Warren Food Pantry by selling her toys.
“I just wanted to be nice,” she said. “[Hospitals] need money so they can buy masks and gloves so they’re safe.”
Mom Christina Fullerton said her daughter came up with the idea on her own when they were cleaning out a toy room to convert the space into her new bedroom.
So the two gathered up some Barbies, as well as doll furniture, clothes and other accessories, took photos of the toys and posted them for sale on Facebook Marketplace. When an item sells, they disinfect the toy and coordinate with the buyer to do contactless pickup.
The girl has raised $60 so far, which she will split evenly between the hospital and the food pantry. She plans to sell more of her toys and split the proceeds between the organizations.
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On Thursday morning, Alexandria made a card, gathered up a box of canned goods from her home and brought the donations to the Warren Food Pantry. A card and check is on its way to Pen Bay Medical Center.
“She’s pretty awesome,” Christina said of her daughter. “I’m a firm believer of paying it forward, and this is how she describes [what she’s doing], as paying it forward.”
At a time when parents are trying to figure out how to educate their children at home while navigating a public health crisis, Christina said she and her husband have been open with their two children about the pandemic.
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Every night, the family watches the news, and the children know their parents have to wear masks and gloves when they go out in public.
“If they ever feel overwhelmed or anxious or they need to understand something, we tell them not to hesitate to ask me or my husband,” Christina said. “We try to be open and honest about it but at the same time not fearful.”
Christina hopes her daughter’s actions will show other children that there are ways for them to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. And some day, Alexandrea wants to coordinate a “thank you” parade for local medical workers.
“I hope that other people will pay it forward in some way as well,” Christina said.
Watch: The difference between a face mask and face covering