NEW MARKET – Crowns, coloring and cats are all favorites of Ivy Maples. Another thing this nine-year-old girl likes to do is volunteer.
She donated 553 items to the Sevier County Food Ministry on Monday, with a tiara placed upon her head.
“What she’s brought in, we figure that she could help for at least every dollar, she could help about three families,” said Mannie Burnett with Sevier County Food Ministries.
This is a huge help for an organization that operates on donations.
“[Giving] makes me feel happy,” Maples said. “I donated canned food, boxed foods, clothes and stuffed animals.”
As part of her community service for a pageant, Maples has been collecting one can at a time since March.
“There’s a lot of hungry people out there and it hurts to be hungry,” she said.
But, it’s the children in those families Maples was most worried about.
“If they can’t afford food they definitely can’t afford toys,” she said. “Because toys, a couple of my Monster High dolls are $30 just for the doll.”
This is the second time the fifth grader has donated to the food bank.
“As a mother, it makes me so proud of her. It tells me that as a parent I’ve done something right,” said Maples’ mother Pam Brehm.
“It makes me very happy because I know somebody’s day will be made,” said Maples.
About 1,600 families come each week to Sevier county Food Ministries in the summer for help.
Staff said the winter months are generally the toughest because most families who rely on tourist-related jobs are out of work needing help.
Maples is also competing in the Amerifest Nationals, modeling competition in July.