Archive for Friday, October 22, 2010

12-year-old Lawrence girl raises money to help kids in need buy Halloween costumes

October 22, 2010


Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Patton, pictured outside her Lawrence home, recently delivered $200 of donations she gathered to Douglas County CASA so portions of the money could be distributed to local kids who can't afford Halloween costumes. Patton spent the last two months gathering money by selling baked goods and babysitting.

Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Patton, pictured outside her Lawrence home, recently delivered $200 of donations she gathered to Douglas County CASA so portions of the money could be distributed to local kids who can't afford Halloween costumes. Patton spent the last two months gathering money by selling baked goods and babysitting.

Over the years, 12-year-old Elizabeth Patton has dressed up as a butterfly, a piece of candy corn, Sarah Palin and a ghost for Halloween.

But this year, instead of planning what she will wear, she has spent the past few months raising money for others to buy costumes.

Since August, the Southwest Junior High seventh-grader has pulled together $200 through baby-sitting and holding bake sales. That money will help 16 children in the Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates program buy Halloween costumes.

The idea came to Elizabeth after she was instructed to find a need in the community and help for her seventh-grade confirmation class at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

She knew she wanted to do something to benefit CASA, which helps children who are in the court system because of abuse or neglect at home.

“I was with my sister in her bedroom looking at a Halloween costume magazine when I thought about doing costumes for kids at CASA that might not be able to purchase them,” Elizabeth said.

It’s a thought that never occurred to the adults, Douglas County CASA executive director Diana Frederick said.

“Leave it to a kid to think of what is important to another kid,” Frederick said.

After Frederick told her volunteers money was available to help with Halloween costumes, the phones lit up.

Even before Marcus Merritt knew about Elizabeth’s contribution, he approached CASA to see if any funds were available to help purchase costumes for two children he mentors. This week, the family will shop for cheerleader and professional wrestler costumes.

“Elizabeth made that possible,” Merritt said.

Sue Richardson will meet this weekend to help pick out costumes for three children she mentors. The children, ages 9 to 14, live with a foster family and have missed some childhood experiences.

“They just delight in the normal things that kids have done. I’m just thrilled to death to be a part of that for them,” Richardson said.


livinginlawrence 7 years, 8 months ago

good for her, and great for all the children who will benefit from her generosity.

Sheryl Wiggins 7 years, 8 months ago

well, buffalobill, perhaps you could help by donating food and/or school supplies not made out of plastic or made in China. Since a 7th grader is doing her part to fill a niche that you seem to think unworthy, how about you taking it upon yourself to fulfill something you deem much more noble. That way you can feel better about yourself without making snide comments regarding Elizabeth. win/win for the ones who matter in this conversation,

slowplay 7 years, 8 months ago

You should really get your facts straight before you post such idiotic comments. Chin'a policies regarding the use of plastics are the most restrictive in the world. In 2008 they banned the manufacture of most plastic bags as well as prohibited any plastic bags being used in supermarkets and shops.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 8 months ago

i would say, without hesitation, that this girl is doing something she enjoys and helps others and it is none of your damn business if it is not what you would want to do or does not fit your priority.

You are someone that sits back at criticizes but contributes nothing useful.

Kelly Johnson 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes, because that's what children really want all the time - just the bare necessities, with no opportunity to have any FUN or ENJOY life.

Perhaps you should start contacting the local social agencies that help give children Christmas presents to proclaim your disdain for them promoting happiness in children's lives, because Christmas is only two months away so they're already planning on how to "squander" their limited funds.

I think this is a fantastic idea and hope it gets support in the future. A donation point for previously worn costumes in good condition would be a good idea, too.

Monica Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

My kids were 2 that benefitted from this wonderful gift! Thank you so much, Elizabeth!!

hedgehog007 7 years, 8 months ago

Good job, Elizabeth. I'm so proud of you for picking something that is so important to little kids, but that is overlooked by the various social services in Lawrence. Costumes are expensive, and all little kids want a "cool" costume for Halloween. Ignore anyone who tells you differently, including any of these posters. Some people always find something to complain about. You did a great thing. Mrs. B

Downtoearth 7 years, 8 months ago

You go Elizabeth!! And you go 007!! Happy Halloween!!

SoccerGenius 7 years, 8 months ago

Awesome job Lizzy, way to go!!! TinaChris

bkreed1960 7 years, 8 months ago

Way to go, Elizabeth. You are a very caring individual and you will go far in your life! You have made a difference in others' lives.

InspectorJo 7 years, 8 months ago

Excellent work Elizabeth. Maybe others will follow in your footsteps. We need more people like you in our community/world. Thank you. You should be very proud of your accomplishments, may you excel in your beautiful life. Way to lead the way..... :)

anneht 7 years, 8 months ago

While I certainly applaud Elizabeth's motives, and effort, I keep comparing in my mind the difference between buying cheap costumes and essential groceries or utilities., as far as the recipients are concerned.... which would be more important to me if I couldn't put food on the table for my children???

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 8 months ago

anneht- you obviously have never been in the situation where you can't give your kids the little extras in life. The extras that make it so a child fits in at school, so a child doesn't feel that much more of an outcast.

If I were still in that situation, you bet I'd go hungrier if it meant my kids could be "normal." Thank goodness this girl has made it so fewer people have to make that choice.

Thank goodness you don't have to make that choice.

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

Wonder if they thought about having people donate used halloween costume, kind of like the prom dresses. Most kids can only wear them once, unless they hand me down to a sibling, and once your kids outgrow them, maybe someone else could use them.

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