Kellen Auth felt it was important to give back and make a difference in the lives of others.
The fourth grader at St. James School in Sewickley began selling bottled water every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market and donating the proceeds to the Chimbote Foundation Inc. It was at school that 8-year-old Kellen first learned about the mission, one that his homeroom class is supporting this year.
His teacher, Lynda Reilsono said she spoke to the class at the beginning of the year about the mission and those less fortunate. Reilsono said Kellen took in everything she said and applied it. Within the next two weeks, he started bringing in money.
“I think what he did was wonderful," Reilsono said."I was shocked when he came in with all that money.”
Selling for $1 a piece, Kellen eventually sold 106 bottled waters before the Farmer's Market wrapped up a few weeks ago. On most Saturdays, he said he was joined by his sister, Marin, an eighth grader, and his mom.
Other kids in class have been donating their cookie money to the bucket.
The Rev. Thomas Burke said the Chimbote Foundation is supported by the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese. Chimbote, Peru is a poverty-stricken, desert area about 250 miles north of the capital city Lima. in Peru where the diocese has built hospitals, schools and orphanages to help the town.
Burke said various fundraisers are held throughout the year in Pittsburgh to support the mission. Kellen's fundraising will do the same.
“I think it’s great," Burke said. "It really shows that no matter how old or young we are, we can make a difference in somebody’s life. As his pastor, obviously he has my support. It’s a wonderful idea.”
Kellen said he plans to sell hot chocolate and lemonade to continue raising money.