CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Alex Fischer is just 9 years old but already has a giving heart.
Alex was 7 when her mom, Lisa Fischer, said the family should take on a service project to help their community. After some extensive research, the Fischer's chose the Charlotte Rescue Mission, a program that provides a free 120-day Christian residential program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and are predominantly homeless.
Every year the Charlotte Rescue Mission holds a community-wide Thanksgiving Turkey and Food Box Drive.
When Lisa Fischer first pitched the idea to Alex, she figured they would pack one box as a family.
"She was like one box is not enough, let's do ten," Fischer recalled.
Fischer told her daughter ten boxes were kind of a lot and suggested Alex start a fundraiser.
Alex was on board and immediately got to work. That year, the Fischer's had a goal of donating around 10-20 boxes of Thanksgiving food to the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
Fast forward a couple of years later, and Alex is still fundraising for the mission center. With the help of the community, 10 boxes quickly turned into 100.
"Last year we decided to go even bigger and I thought our goal should be 101 boxes and we ended up donating 130 boxes," Alex said.
Alex, with the help of her 6-year-old sister Caroline, set up a lemonade stand and bake sale in the front of their yard.
9-year-old raises money for Charlotte Rescue Mission
"I was in second grade and decided we should sell lemonade," Alex said. "And we ended up going bigger with some other stuff like brownies and cookies."
So far this year, Alex and Caroline have raised enough money to buy 108 frozen turkeys and boxes of food. At their lemonade stand last weekend, they sold out for the first time.
“I think everybody should have a Thanksgiving meal with their families,” Alex said. “A lot of people in Charlotte don’t have Thanksgiving meals.”
Lisa Fischer said she never expected the family service project to grow the way it did.
"Every year it continues to grow," Fischer said. "But it's awesome and it's neat to see. It gets bigger and bigger."
Fischer said as her daughters grow older, she hopes their appetite for serving never fades.
"It's kind of humbling to see how many people want to help them and be apart of this. And we’re really excited to see where they go with this," Fischer said.
After all of their fundraising efforts, the Fischer's created a meal from the food provided in the box so the girls could see what they donated.
Charlotte Rescue Mission hopes to collect 3,000 turkeys during their annual Thanksgiving Turkey and Food Box Drive.
"Every year agencies come to us and ask us to help with this big food drive," Rachel DiBattista, Communications & Marketing Specialist for Charlotte Rescue Mission said. "We're the central location for collecting the Thanksgiving food and frozen turkeys and help distribute them to families that need a Thanksgiving meal."
Charlotte Rescue Mission needs frozen turkeys from 12 to 15 pounds each to accompany Thanksgiving food boxes. They need to be frozen due to health and safety reasons. Donations may be dropped off at Charlotte Rescue Mission – Rebound at 907 W. 1st Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.
For information regarding the exact contents of the food box, you can email Thanksgiving@charlotterescuemission.org.
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