Ellie Ambrose and Anna Tobin are 8 years old, in the second grade and best friends.
"We just started talking to each other. And we realized we had a lot in common," Anna said. "We get along really well and we care about others."
That caring led the girls to take on a big project over the winter break from school. They planned and organized a donation drive to help babies.
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"They can't do anything. They can just maybe crawl, and if they're too little, they might not even crawl. So, they do need help, and I think that's why we chose babies," Ellie explained.
They partnered with the nonprofit Community Partners of Dallas which supports the work of Child Protective Services in Dallas County to collect diapers, baby wipes, shampoo, lotion and other items. They rallied classmates, neighbors and friends in a marketing blitz that included flyers, posters and emails.
"I went to neighbors' mailboxes and put my flyer in their boxes. So, that's how I helped," Ellie said. In her flyer, she wrote, "My friend and I want to help babies in need this year. Please help if you can. Love, Ellie."
"We sent an email out to the entire second grade, made a poster and posted it," Anna said. "And in that email, you can go to Amazon and order stuff. And we got lots of stuff. It was piling up!"
Two weeks later, four SUVs with all the items packed in them rolled up to Community Partners. The girls had collected 9,652 diapers, 35,122 baby wipes, 117 baby shampoos, 79 bottles of baby lotion and other items.
"It felt joyful," Anna said of the project. "Oh, so much joy," added Ellie.
"Ellie and Anna blew us away! Their planning, their hard work, their enthusiasm, their marketing. These girls worked so hard. And their hard work paid off. I'm blown away at all the amazing things they were able to collect," said Joanna Clarke, Vice President of Development and Communications for Community Partners of Dallas.
"Thank you for all the people who donated and my brother who also donated for the babies. I just can't believe we did all this," Ellie smiled. "It just feels so nice to do this. Maybe I should do more activities with Anna and charities more often. It makes me feel happy."
The friends got so much joy out of the project, they want to make it an annual tradition.
"I wanna see bigger numbers in there. I wanna see more stuff we can get 'em. And I wanna see more families happy," Anna said. "It doesn't matter how big you are, you can always make a difference in the world."