RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — A 5 and 9-year-old from north Alabama could teach you a thing or two about showing kindness.
Bronner and Brody Hellums are raising money to donate dolls to children with limb differences in honor of their soon-to-be 1-year-old cousin, Sloan.
Sloan was born on September 22, 2018, with an arm limb difference. The family was not expecting it before she was born so it came as a total shock. Immediately, they began looking for resources on children with limb differences.
That is when Sloan’s aunt, Carly Hellums, found “A Doll Like Me.”
Amy Jandrisevits, owner of “A Doll Like Me,” makes dolls for people with limb differences, amputations and other body differences. Each of her dolls cost $100.
In addition to buying a doll for Sloan, Bronner and Brody thought it would be nice to raise $300 for three more dolls for children who wanted one but couldn’t afford one in honor of Sloan.
Their mother, Carly Hellums, thought if they raised even $5 that would still go toward a doll.
The boys thought of many ways to fundraise the money, Carly Hellums said. They discussed T-shirts, hats, even thought about selling their toys, but eventually settled on personalized bracelets.
The bracelets have two phrases on them: “Be A Friend” and “Kindness Matters.” They originally ordered 100 bracelets and they sold out as fast as they bought them after advertising the fundraiser on Facebook. Since then they have ordered 500 more.
While selling bracelets, Bronner committed to getting a pie in the face. Carly Hellums said that’s when she and her husband told the boys if they raise $600, they can pie them in the face.
Since the initial post on Facebook, the doll maker, Jandrisevits, has posted it to her page and they have received donations from people in over 15 states, Brazil and Australia.
Their fundraiser has not stopped there though. The boys were able to get the Russellville Middle School football coaches Larry Gilmer and Corey Flanagan to accept the challenge if they reached a fundraising goal of $2,000.
Not only did they boys reach it, but they surpassed it. Gilmer and Flanagan took extra special pies in the face September 11, in front of all their players, including one who has a limb difference. And one of Flanagan’s children also has a limb difference.
To date, they have raised $3,000. One of their last pies to the face recipients was one of Alabama’s State Representatives.
Rep. Jamie Kiel (R) accepted Bronner and Brody’s pie to the face once the boys reached their last milestone.
The proceeds are going toward dolls for other children who want one from “A Doll Like Me,” but the duo is also raising awareness and spreading kindness in honor of their cousin, Sloan.