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Kids Can Make a Big Difference

Updated on March 19, 2014

$30,000 Raised for Child Abuse Prevention Programs!

At just nine years old, our Abby has raised almost $30,000.00 for the child abuse prevention programs at One Hope United.

At two years old she was helping to stuff and label envelopes. At three years old she started selling raffle tickets to family and friends. From there she went on to be in the OHU Blue Ribbon Fashion Shows, baked cupcakes to auction off, created works of art that were used in the live auction, sold event tickets, helped prepare donated items for the silent auction and so much more.

She started helping out because I (her mother) volunteer there and we would go together. But as she has gotten older she has started to realize that the kids that live at OHU need help. She's on mission a to raise as much as possible for kids less fortunate than herself.

She's also raised money for the Northwoods Children's Museum, a close family friend fighting breast cancer, a young woman that needs a kidney transplant, and a family that lost their father to brain cancer. Abby's volunteer activities don't just include fundraising. She often makes special treats for the boys that live in the residences on the OHU campus and recently she held a hat and glove drive at her school. Abby is proof that everyone can help their community.

Abby at age 3, her first appearance in the One Hope United fashion show.
Abby at age 3, her first appearance in the One Hope United fashion show.

Volunteering Can Start at a Very Young Age

My daughter and I started to volunteer together at One Hope United when she was about eighteen months old. While I believe the fight against child abuse is extremely important, I had another reason for volunteering with Abby when she was so young. I wanted to teach her how important it is to help others who may not be as fortunate as we are. While our life may not be perfect, we have much to be thankful for.

Of course, Abby's level of participation has changed and grown over the years. She began attending meetings with me at OHU when she was under two years old. We would bring activities like crayons and coloring books with us and she would sit and color during the meeting, yet at the same time she was taking it all in. When she was very little she would help with mailings by stuffing envelopes for events, etc.

When she was three, she was in the OHU Blue Ribbon Event fashion show for the first time. Not only did she model some really cute little outfits, but she also sold raffle tickets to family and friends and raised about $900 that year. When she was four, she was in the fashion show again and that year raised close to $2000 by selling raffle tickets to family and friends.

Abby age 4, auctioned off homemade cupcakes for $2000!
Abby age 4, auctioned off homemade cupcakes for $2000!

We Couldn't Believe It ... $2000 for Homemade Cupcakes!!

As she got older, she wanted to come up with more ways to raise money for the One Hope United Blue Ribbon Event. In 2010 we heard about another organization that had raised several hundred dollars by auctioning off some cupcakes that kids had made so we thought we would give it a try.

As Abby carried out her homemade goodies, the audience went crazy. The bidding started low and before we knew it was climbing fast, all the way up to $2000! The homemade cupcakes that Abby had baked with her Dad and decorated with her Grandmother raised more than we could have imagined for the fight against child abuse. It was a simple idea with a huge payoff!

Having such success was just what we needed to try to come up with something better each coming year!

Abby with golf ball cake and handpainted ceramic platter.
Abby with golf ball cake and handpainted ceramic platter.

Getting Creative to Raise Funds

Of course, after that we tried to come up with new ways for Abby's baking to raise funds for One Hope United and their child abuse prevention programs. That fall she baked a golf ball shaped cake and painted a ceramic platter for the golf outing and raised $900 in that auction.

Along with her baked goods she always wears a cute little chef coat and chef hat from our online business www.abigailsavenue.com. We believe that the outfits just add to the whole experience and the crowds love that she is truly a little chef.

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Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change: Courageous Actions Around the World

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Abby and the $12,400 cupcakes!
Abby and the $12,400 cupcakes!

Giant Cupcakes Bring High Bids!!

When we were planning for the 2011 OHU Blue Ribbon Event we were trying to figure out a way to top what we did in 2010 and came up with the idea that Abby would bake some really giant cupcakes and auction them off individually so that more bidders could get involved. We approached a local bakery, Lovin' Ovens Cakery, and they agreed to help bake the giant cupcakes and let Abby come into their kitchen to decorate some. That in itself was really cool experience for her. She learned how to use some of their more sophisticated equipment and even got to airbrush some rainbow colors onto the giant cupcakes. We then enlisted the help of ten other children to help Abby carry the cupcakes out during the auction. First the auctioneer, Jim Miller of www.charityauctioneer.com, got the bidding going on just the one giant cupcake that Abby carried out. Of course, this time she was wearing a blue tie dyed chef coat with a matching chef hat from www.abigailsavenue.com. When the bidding on Abby's giant cupcake got up to $2200 the auctioneer mentioned that we might have a few more. With that, the rest of the children came out with the other giant cupcakes in quite a cute little procession. The end result was that we ended up raising $12,400 from the auction of the giant cupcakes, so much more than we could have even hoped for!

Thanks to Lovin' Oven Cakery, Abby got to decorate the giant cupcakes in a real bakery!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Another Creative Idea for the 2011 OHU Golf Outing

As you can imagine, it was getting more and more difficult to come up with creative ideas for Abby to auction off for OHU .

In the fall of 2011, Abby painted an original drawing on a chef's apron and also made a little BBQ themed cookbook to go along with it. We were pleased that the winning bid was $1200. Once again the audience responded to her with kindness and generosity.

We realize that the people bidding on her items are there to support One Hope United and their child abuse prevention programs. Her participation gives them a fun and unique way to do so, while it allows her to have fun and help less fortunate kids than herself. Because she has been involved in this organization since she was so young, I truly believe that she gets what she is doing ... at least as much as a six or seven year old could understand at that time.

One Hope United Auction Videos Featuring Abby

Take a look at these videos and see the OHU charity auctions featuring Abby and her baked creations!

Abby made some cupcakes and auctioned them off in April of 2010 for $2000 for the child abuse prevention programs at One Hope United.

In the fall of 2010 Abby baked a golf ball shaped cake and made a hand painted ceramic platter and raised $900 for child abuse prevention programs at One Hope United.

In 2011 Abby auctioned off some giant cupcakes to raise money for the child abuse prevention programs at One Hope United.

On the Wings of a Butterfly

In April 2012, Abby went in another creative direction and auctioned off a beautiful butterfly painting that she did with the help of her school art teacher. Miss Carol was kind enough to work with Abby after school one day to show her how to mix colors and plan out what she wanted the painting to be. Not only was it a good learning experience for Abby, but the painting raised $600 in the OHU live auction at the Blue Ribbon Event.

This would be the first of several paintings that Abby did to raise money for various causes.

Spring Flowers Bring a High Bid of $1200

Abby continued to enjoy creating artwork and did another painting for the Blue Ribbon Event in April 2013. This time she combined painting and silk flowers for a mixed media piece of artwork. The crowd loved it! The winning bid for the brightly colored and framed painting was $1200!

It's amazing to watch as the bids get higher and higher. We are so proud of Abby for continuing to use her talents to raise money for One Hope United. It's my hope that she continues her efforts into adulthood. One day she will realize just how much she has made a difference in so many lives.

Another Painting for Someone Very Special to Us

In December of 2013 a very close friend of our family was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. We were devastated. It was difficult to explain to a then 8 year old how serious the diagnosis was. Yet some how she perceived the seriousness and wanted to help.

A group of friends were organizing a benefit dinner fundraiser which was to feature a live auction. Abby decided to create one of her paintings and we were all thrilled when it brought in $650.

For Abby, this painting truly was created with love and the hope that it would help her "Auntie" get better. The good news is that so far it seems to be working!

Volunteering Goes Beyond Fundraising

One of the best parts of volunteering with my daughter, Abby, at One Hope United are the opportunities that we get to reach out and help others. It's a way to remind ourselves to be thankful for everything that we have because there are so many others who can only imagine what it would be like to be part of a loving family. It also reminds us to be thankful for our good health as others are not so lucky.

2013 was a tough year in many ways. We saw several friends deal with severe health issues and the death of loved ones. Wanting to help in any way that we could brought us the opportunity to help on several fundraisers and participate in a 5K walk for breast cancer. As always, Abby was involved right there along side of us, making us proud.

We're currently working on the One Hope United Blue Ribbon Event for April 2014. While we are not quite sure yet what Abby's contribution will be too the auctions, we know that it will not only help the kids that benefit from the money raised, it also helps Abby to be an important part of her community. One of her classmates has just offered to help her sell raffle tickets for the event. Her good example will let this young man be enriched by helping others as well.

People often ask us why we give so much of our time to One Hope United. The answer is simple ... we get so much more back in return!

Helping Others Can Be Fun

Click thumbnail to view full-size
When she was four years old, Abby made some "turkey" centerpieces for the table at the boys One Hope United Thanksgiving dinner.For Thanksgiving 2012, Abby made pilgrim hat cookies and brought them to the boys Thanksgiving dinner at One Hope United.Each year since she was five, Abby writes a letter to friends and family asking them to buy raffle tickets and support One Hope United.Abby's grandfather made this birdhouse and then she painted an decorated it for the OHU silent auction. She raised $100 with this item!Abby ran in her first 5K in July of 2013 to help raise money for her Aunt that is fighting breast cancer.In August 2013, Abby helped with a 5K walk for Jamie's Journey to help a young mom that needs a kidney transplant.Abby worked as a "Guest Barista" with No One Fights Cancer Alone at Julie's Coffee to raise money for local families fighting cancer.Abby held a hat and glove drive at school this winter to collect new items needed for families served by One Hope United in our community.
When she was four years old, Abby made some "turkey" centerpieces for the table at the boys One Hope United Thanksgiving dinner.
When she was four years old, Abby made some "turkey" centerpieces for the table at the boys One Hope United Thanksgiving dinner.
For Thanksgiving 2012, Abby made pilgrim hat cookies and brought them to the boys Thanksgiving dinner at One Hope United.
For Thanksgiving 2012, Abby made pilgrim hat cookies and brought them to the boys Thanksgiving dinner at One Hope United.
Each year since she was five, Abby writes a letter to friends and family asking them to buy raffle tickets and support One Hope United.
Each year since she was five, Abby writes a letter to friends and family asking them to buy raffle tickets and support One Hope United.
Abby's grandfather made this birdhouse and then she painted an decorated it for the OHU silent auction. She raised $100 with this item!
Abby's grandfather made this birdhouse and then she painted an decorated it for the OHU silent auction. She raised $100 with this item!
Abby ran in her first 5K in July of 2013 to help raise money for her Aunt that is fighting breast cancer.
Abby ran in her first 5K in July of 2013 to help raise money for her Aunt that is fighting breast cancer.
In August 2013, Abby helped with a 5K walk for Jamie's Journey to help a young mom that needs a kidney transplant.
In August 2013, Abby helped with a 5K walk for Jamie's Journey to help a young mom that needs a kidney transplant.
Abby worked as a "Guest Barista" with No One Fights Cancer Alone at Julie's Coffee to raise money for local families fighting cancer.
Abby worked as a "Guest Barista" with No One Fights Cancer Alone at Julie's Coffee to raise money for local families fighting cancer.
Abby held a hat and glove drive at school this winter to collect new items needed for families served by One Hope United in our community.
Abby held a hat and glove drive at school this winter to collect new items needed for families served by One Hope United in our community.

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