Mattie Embree was a fourth-grader when a representative from Haiti 180 spoke to her congregation at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Sun Valley.
The message stuck: Help others, and give back.
Now a sixth-grader at Pioneer Montessori School, Embree raised $2,602 in a month for the charity, which is working to build a medical center in a rural Haitian town. Mattie approached local businesses for donations, and she sold tickets raffling off a helmet from Sturtevants, as well as gift cards from Rico’s, Perry’s, Wrap City and Lizzy’s Coffee.
Every sixth-grader at Pioneer conducts a service project, ranging from fundraising to Footlight Dance.
“Our goal is to teach them to be part of the community, to connect and continue that into middle school and high school,” teacher Michelle Toussaint said. “As an adult, who knows? Maybe they’ll remember this experience.”
Embree thinks she will. When she gets older, she plans to go to Haiti volunteer.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I got more than I thought I would. It feels really good to help.”