Youth sets path with kindness heart

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

CHESAPEAKE - Kara Lee Bennett had seen enough.

The 8-year-old was so concerned about Hurricane Katrina victims that she decided to do something about it.

Kara had watched people on TV, people who were hurting from the storm, the flooding, the dead bodies. She wanted to help right away.

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"I saw the people that lost some of their families, and trying to get to safer spots," Kara said. "The people were stuck in their houses with no food or water."

Kara said she wanted to do something to help those people, so she came up with an idea. She made a box - a box which Kara first filled with her own money.

"I have a little piggy bank," the 8-year-old said shyly.

Her grandmother had given her some Christmas money, and she also had some other money in that little piggy bank, more than $100, which she emptied into the box.

Then, Kara took the box to her father's business to continue her mission.

Her parents, Dave and Sherry Bennett, own Dave's Citgo in Chesapeake.

Kara sat the little box, covered in paper and written on in crayon, atop the counter near the cash register.

Kara's father gave her some money. Her mother's friends and the people who came into the gas station all donated. But, she did not stop there.

Kara took the box with her to church as well. The family attends Pomaria Baptist Church.

"The church gave me lots,"

Kara said.

The box grew and grew until Kara said it was so heavy it was spilling out.

"My Mommy had to tape it," she said.

Kara raised $500 in donations. She said she wants the money to go to people that are in the city, to buy food and build the city back up again. And to help people move to other places.

"I wish that they can come somewhere safer and have good food, drink good water and have a good house," she said. "And I wish that the people who died went to Heaven."

Kara made no mention of her fund-raising activities. No one was aware of her caring deed until she donated the money she had raised. Kara is just happy that she could help others.

"I just think this is unusual," Kara's teacher, Beverly Tillis said. "She's a very caring and unselfish little girl with brilliant ideas. I can see her generosity in the classroom."

Tillis said Kara is very helpful in the classroom and that she does it whole heartedly.

Friday evening at halftime of the Fairland vs. Chesapeake football game, Kara presented a $500 check to go to Hurricane Katrina victims.

Even though her fund-raising efforts are over, Tillis said Kara has learned something that will be with her always - something that she can teach others.

"She's learned a valuable lesson that she can pass on to her classroom and her children someday," Tillis said.