On a mission: Cedar Park girl creates nonprofit to help feed those in need – News – Austin American-Statesman


CEDAR PARK Sixth-grader Gracie Garbade stood by a busy avenue in her Cedar Park neighborhood on a sunny day two days earlier than Thanksgiving with family and friends by her aspect.

She waved an indication over her head that stated, “Gracie’s Canned Items Meals Drive.”

Inside 40 minutes, three drivers stopped to present her donations, together with first-grade trainer Jaclyn Ashby, who dropped off two large rubbish baggage stuffed with meals collected at Sommers Elementary College.

Gracie, 11, created her non-profit, Gracies Canned Items, to boost cash and gather canned items for meals pantries and teams that assist households and college students. The group has donated $6,000 this 12 months to 5 teams, together with Hill Nation Group Ministries, the Central Texas Meals Financial institution and the Backpack Buddies, stated her mom, Melissa Garbade. Gracie additionally donated cash she has raised this 12 months to the Hope Austin and to the Backpack Coalition.

To date this 12 months, she has gathered virtually 1,000 kilos of canned items. Final 12 months, when her mother and father established her non-profit, she collected $5,000 and 1,838 kilos of meals.

Gracie had just some phrases to explain her mission whereas soliciting roadside donations Tuesday: “I need to ensure everybody has meals to eat.”

This 12 months, she is becoming a member of the Cedar Park Police Division’s Blue Santa program to gathering meals and donations for households in want.

She began eager to gather canned meals when she was 5 years outdated and observed homeless individuals, she stated. “Seeing individuals on the road made me really feel dangerous, and I wished to assist them.”

That 12 months, she collected 100 kilos of meals with the assistance of household and buddies, her mom stated. Gracie saved on gathering increasingly meals annually and setting larger and better objectives for herself.

Gracie’s household helps her along with her efforts, her mom stated. Grabade stated she drives the canned items that Gracie collects to Hill Nation Ministries in Leander. Gracie’s father, Brad Grabade, a salesman for a cybersecurity firm, helps her with on-line efforts, comparable to her Fb web page, Gracies Canned Items, which accepts donations.

Her 8-year-old brother, Wyatt, helps set up the donated meals. He additionally admires what individuals give.

“Sloppy joe sauce,” he stated choosing up a can that somebody had simply donated whereas Grace was standing along with her signal. “Good.”

The quantity that individuals donate typically surprises her, Grace stated. “Somebody donated 20 bins of cereal.”

Tiesa Holloway, a spokeswoman for Hill Nation Ministries, stated she first met Gracie when the woman was within the first grade. “She has the guts and the eagerness for not letting anybody go hungry.”

Through the years, Gracie has collected as much as 20,000 kilos of meals and a number of other thousand {dollars} for Hill Nation Group Ministries, which offers meals for a number of thousand households a 12 months, Holloway stated.

“It’s an enormous deal,” stated Holloway.

Ashby, the trainer, stated she has identified Gracie since she was 5 years outdated and has watched her efforts to assist others develop.

“She has a coronary heart of gold,” Ashby stated.


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