Six-year-old Anaiah Newman and her mother Connie make time to hand out toiletries to children at the Center for Hope in Ambridge. But Anaiah said she felt it was unfair that she had fun bath time supplies at home, while those children got boring grown-up stuff.
“She talked about this for days. So, I said, ‘let’s go to the store,’ and we went to the dollar store and got some stuff,” said Connie. “Made some bags and donated them. She just got addicted to doing them.”
Connie paid for the first round of supplies herself, but after she posted a Facebook video about what Anaiah was doing, she said friends donated supplies. When people wanted to donate money, Connie set up a Go Fund Me page.
“She’s raised over $1,000 all on her own,” Connie said. “She’s speaking at preschools and now other kids are donating stuff, so it’s really grown.”
In the last year, Anaiah has assembled more than 200 bags for The Center For Hope, a local women’s shelter, and the family’s church.
“Anaiah glows when she’s helping. She will light up and become a different person,” Connie said. “It’s something that fuels her.”
Each bag gets a pack of tissues, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, bath puff, bath crystals that fizz or color the water and an encouraging note. It all goes into a kid-friendly bag that Anaiah likes to embellish with stickers.
“It all has to be fun,” Anaiah said.