SHOREWOOD, Ill. (BP) — The newest pieces of disaster relief equipment for a Baptist association in northern Illinois came from what many might consider an unlikely source: a 10-year-old girl.
Lily Eddington, a fifth-grade student, wanted to help the Three Rivers Baptist Association purchase a new, larger chainsaw for the team to use following the tornadoes that struck the state last November and impacted many communities. To help the team, Eddington put her writing skills to use and wrote a story that garnered more than $2,000 in donations — enough to purchase a larger chainsaw, another smaller one and other needed safety equipment.
Eddington learned of these specific needs through her grandfather Dan Eddington, the association’s director of missions.
“She knew through my father that they needed help raising money for that,” Matt Eddington, Lily’s dad, said. “And she came up with the idea of writing a story, and he took the idea and kind of ran with it. And it worked out really well.”
Lily’s grandfather helped her publish the story in booklet form, with her own illustrations. The story centers on a family trapped in their home after a tornado. Eddington’s sisters Megan and Brianna take shelter in the basement with their parents — plus their cat and hamster — but a large tree keeps them trapped inside after the storm passes.
“Then they heard a truck pull up,” Eddington wrote. “On the side of the trailer they saw the words, ‘Three Rivers Baptist Association Disaster Relief.'”
The story continued, “Suddenly they heard, ‘Come on guys, we need to get this tree off the house.'”
Ken Cummins, leader of the association’s disaster relief team, could easily be the model for Eddington’s fictional rescuer. He often goes wherever a chainsaw is needed. He and Eddington picked out the new Stihl chainsaw.
“We really needed a larger saw on board,” Cummins said. Last November, “[the team] came across quite a few [trees] … that we weren’t able to do as easily as we should have because we didn’t have the right saw.”
Eddington is already working on her next story to help the disaster relief team’s mud-out crew. Her grandfather reported she’s also working on a story to raise funds for a mission trip to Slovakia, where she will help teach conversational English to kids her age.
This story originally ran in the Illinois Baptist, the newspaper of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).