Little girl, big vision: Local
4th-grader works to give to the needy
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[August 28, 2009]
is a local fourth-grader with world issues on her mind. Instead of
spending her summer reveling in school-free days, Erin spent her
time thinking of ways to help people in need. She pulled her wagon
up and down her block, collecting food for the local food pantry.
"Some people said they already gave (to the pantry), and some went
and got stuff for me," she said.
When Erin was finished, she'd collected
five grocery bags full of food. She will be walking her wagon to the
food pantry this week to deliver her collection.
Erin's efforts to
save the world don't stop there. This weekend she's planned a
special sale to benefit World Vision, a Christian organization that
fights poverty and injustice in underdeveloped nations. "She's been
asking to do it all summer, so I thought this would be the best
time," said her mother, Suzanne Gowin. Erin's sale is scheduled to
coincide with a garage sale her parents are having this weekend,
Friday and Saturday.
The money raised by the family's garage sale will help fund their
international adoption process, but Erin's funds are earmarked for
World Vision. Erin's sale will feature handmade necklaces and
children's books she wrote with stories and activities. She'll also
offer homemade chocolate chip cookies and lemonade. As an added
incentive, Erin's parents have promised to match whatever Erin
raises to go to World Vision.
Erin first became interested in World Vision at Christmas.
Michael and Suzanne Gowin, Erin's parents, both sponsored children
through organizations before they met, and they made regular giving
a priority in their marriage as well. This year they brought their
three children in on the action by helping them use some of their
Christmas money to buy gifts from the World Vision gift catalog.
(Erin drops off her food collection at the
Lincoln/Logan County Food Pantry. Bill Overton was on hand to accept
[to top of second column]
"I bought seeds and Maura bought two chicks, but Liam had pneumonia
then so he bought medicine," Erin said. All the Gowin kids' gifts
were delivered to needy families by World Vision.
Erin already has plans for the money raised from her sale this
weekend. "Maybe some goats," she said, "or mosquito nets for
everywhere in Africa. Because they get real sick from mosquitoes."
If she could raise enough money, Erin would like to build a
school or help girls who couldn't afford to go to school. "I meet
all my friends at school," Erin said. "If I didn't have a school, I
wouldn't have any friends."
Erin's sale will take place at 220 Delavan in Lincoln on Friday
afternoon from 3:30 to 7 and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.