Girl on a mission: Local 8-year-old weaves happiness into community

Stronger Together

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — 8-year-old Elizabeth Keller is on a mission to distribute as much as she can to her community in need.

The Southside Elementary third grader found an affinity for weaving potholders, which turned into a business used to donate food, clothing and other necessities.

She weaves potholders, sells them and uses the profits to purchase items to distribute to fellow Johnson City classmates and their families.

Keller dropped off three full food boxes along with three $25 Kroger gift cards to Johnson City Schools central office to be distributed.

On top of that, she also used profits from her Looms and Blooms business to donate dozens of necessities to the Salvation Army.

“I’ve made 10 bags for homeless people stuffed with blankets, gloves, hats, snacks, water bottles — all that sort of stuff,” Keller said. “My business is called Looms and Blooms.”

Her affinity for making potholders and helping her classmates soon developed into another initiative.

“I started seeing people — a lot of people — begging on the side of the road,” Keller said. “And since it’s wintertime, I figured they needed something warm to have.”

Keller has since weaved 225 potholders and raised nearly $1,000.

News Channel 11 spoke with Sydnee DeBusk, the Johnson City Schools Homeless Coordinator, who helped get the supplies to families in need.

“She took the time to not only raise the money and make the product sell, but she packed those boxes herself, and she personalized them,” DeBusk said.

DeBusk hopes the young philanthropist’s initiative and drive to help others spreads to fellow classmates.

“I hope it’s contagious and it just keeps rolling on,” DeBusk said. “That’s a big deal for a third-grader, in my opinion. Kids can make a different, too, it’s not just adults in our community.”

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