The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Sisters’ good deed leads to another
BY LINDLEY ESTES
Abby and Haley Caspersen rode their bikes around their southern Stafford County neighborhood in 90-degree heat last summer to collect money for classmates who can’t afford school supplies.
Haley, 11, had step throat and walking pneumonia, but that didn’t stop her or her 12-year-old sister, Abby, from going out to seek donations for Stafford public schools’ Stuff the Bus program.
“The more they did, the more they wanted to do,” said their mother, Stephanie Caspersen.
At the first two houses the Dixon–Smith Middle School students went to, they raised $70.
At another house they received $500 in gift cards.
The sisters visited about 40 surrounding houses in subdivisions off Brooke Road, and raised more than $1,100 for the back-to-school program for disadvantaged children.
“We just hadn’t been doing much over the summer and thought this would be good,” said Abby, a seventh-grader.
The closest collection spot for the school supply drive was at the Walmart on U.S. 17, and the girls worried that the school division would miss out on the generosity of southern Stafford.
The sisters made fliers to hang up and reminder notes to put in neighbors’ mailboxes close to the donation date, and wrote thank-you notes.
“I was beaming with pride,” said their mom. “They took it and ran with it.”
She said neighbors stopped them on the street when they were walking their dog and told them how proud they were.
But the neighbors weren’t the only ones to notice.
The girls were congratulated at a recent Stafford School Board meeting, and Apple Federal Credit Union, a sponsor of Stuff the Bus, gave them a matching $1,100 check to go to whatever charity they chose.
They decided to give it to their school.
Half of the money will go to Bulldog Books, which helps children who can’t afford to buy anything at the school’s book fair to purchase books.
The other half will go to the purchase of nonperishable food during winter break for children at Dixon–Smith who receive free or reduced-price lunches.
Abby and Haley plan to collect for Stuff the Bus again next summer.
“We’re thinking about going into other neighborhoods and expanding,” said Haley, a sixth-grader.
They also hope other students will get involved next year.
Previously, Abby has collected funds to send a soldier in Afghanistan a care package. She also provided reading and math tutoring for an African refugee student whose family lived nearby.
“They really do naturally worry about other people,” Stephanie Caspersen said. “They think of things I wouldn’t have thought about at their age.”
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976