Ellie Feaga, 13, of Woodbine, Md., a seventh-grader at Glenwood Middle School, has raised more than $20,000 for a variety of charities by hosting an annual bake sale that has become a major event in her community. When she was 7, Ellie told her mother she wanted to go to Haiti after that nation was struck by natural disaster. "There were so many people who had lost everything, including their families, and I wanted to help them," she said. "My mom said no because it was too dangerous, but told me to think of other ways I could help." Since Ellie liked to bake, she decided to hold a bake sale, which ended up generating $2,000 for the American Red Cross Haiti relief fund.
Ellie felt so good about the results that she turned her sale into an annual event that gets bigger every year. She advertises for donors and customers with flyers, posters, email messages, T-shirts and a Facebook page, and gets help from her family, church, school, 4-H club and local businesses. In addition to the Red Cross, Ellie's bake sale has benefited the Susan G. Komen Foundation, March of Dimes, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Wounded Warrior Project, a children's education fund, and a local food pantry and fire department. "It makes me feel happy and proud to be able to pull my community together and help people in need at the same time," said Ellie.