Monday, October 25, 2021

11-year-old Alabama raises money for accident victims by selling key chains

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“She’s mature beyond her years,” Amber says of Kyleigh, the oldest of her five children. Kyleigh, who is going into sixth grade at Opelika Middle School, and her mother, Amber, were scrolling on Facebook together when they saw a post about the tragic interstate pileup. She looked at her mom and said, “What if we give money from my keychain sales to the girls’ ranch and their families?”

Amber helped her create a website, inclusivelykyleigh.com. When they were trying to come up with a name for Kyleigh’s business, they thought of the word “inclusively” because “inclusive” is a word Kyleigh’s teachers have used to describe her, says Amber. They also wanted “something that can grow with her,” she says.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyleigh had started making keychains with the laser machine Amber uses to make door hangers. Following in her mom’s footsteps, Kyleigh decided to sell them online. Her keychains feature positive affirmations like “You are beautiful” and “One thing at a time,” and they range in price from $3.50 to $20.

During the pandemic, making the keychains helped Kyleigh fill her time that would typically be spent doing gymnastics and playing softball. She was excited about earning her own money for indulgences like Starbucks, her mom says, and she’d hoped to be able to contribute to a family trip to Disney World.

Last Wednesday, Amber posted about Kyleigh’s goal of raising $5,000 for the girls’ ranch. The next day, on her 11th birthday, Kyleigh reached her goal. “It was pretty amazing,” says Amber.

Now she’s trying to raise money for the family of Cody Fox, the only adult killed in the wreck, and his 9-month-old daughter, Ariana, of Tennessee, with the sale of her creations.

“She has the sweetest heart,” Amber says of her daughter. “She’s a ray of sunshine. She can walk in a room and light it up.”

As young as she is, Kyleigh – who is “kind of the mother hen” in their family, Amber says – already understands the importance of helping others. “Our family always wants to help the community,” she says.

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