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Preschooler raises $400 for disaster relief

JEMISON, Ala.(BP) — When 4-year-old Holden Roberts saw a news report featuring a little girl whose family had taken shelter from Hurricane Irma, it made him sad to think that kids had to leave their favorite toys behind.

Holden’s favorite toy is a log truck, but he asked his parents, Brett and Julie Roberts, about sending some of his other toys to the children who had lost theirs.

“I explained that the families might have some more immediate needs, but I told him we could find a way to help,” Julie Roberts, whose family are members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church #1 in Jemison, Ala., said.

Earning money to give

The family decided to create a pumpkin patch at their home in Jemison, with pumpkins purchased from a farmer’s market in Birmingham. On Sept. 16, the family was out early setting up the pumpkin patch. They spent the day selling pumpkins to family, church friends and neighbors who not only got a pumpkin for their fall decorations but contributed to hurricane relief as well. Holden, whose dad and grandfather work in sales, has the gift, his mom said.

“As people were looking them over, he would ask, ‘Do you like that pumpkin? I’ll load it up for you.’ It worked out perfect,” she noted.

By the end of the day, Holden had sold 40 regular pumpkins and 22 stackable pumpkins — their entire inventory — and had raised $400 for Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief. Holden and his family made the trip to the Chilton Baptist Association office to present the donation to Director of Missions Larry Felkins.

“It’s a testimony to his parents and their character that they encouraged him in his desire to help others who are suffering. It’s a compliment to his church as well. Someone has taught him about missions,” Felkins said.

The pumpkin patch definitely reinforced lessons about serving and giving that Holden learns at his church, his mom said.

“We could have just given him money to give but encouraging him to put forth the work even at a young age was my main goal,” she said. “He saw a need and he put in the effort to earn money to give.”