NEW PORT RICHEY — When 11-year-old Amanda Moore first started selling candy bars at the Lane Glo Bowling Alley, it was to help her mom pay Amanda’s way to the state bowling tournament.
After being bitten by the fundraising bug, the Gulf Middle School sixth-grader wanted to continue raising money, this time to help someone else in need.
Amanda wrote a letter to Healthy Families Program Manager Becky Bennett requesting a family that she could buy gifts for. Her goal was to raise $300 to buy presents, wrap them and play Santa’s little elf by delivering the presents to the family.
“I am doing this because I want to help a family in need,” read Amanda’s letter. “I want to make them happy and I want to make sure they have a good Christmas.”
To date, Amanda has tripled this goal, raising nearly $1,000 by selling candy bars at Lane Glo Bowling Alley three days a week. Amanda originally got the fundraising bug as the top performer in a fifth-grade school fundraiser in which she took in $600.
She and her mom, Amy Johnston, are avid bowlers and regulars at Lane Glo on Old CR 54. There she raised money for the bowling tournament to help out her mom, a single mother. She enjoyed raising money and this time wanted to help someone else with the money she raised.
The Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando team, a program of Pasco Kids First, found a great fit for Amanda’s wish, a working single mom of an infant son and 2-year-old girl living with their grandma. Their Christmas would be difficult with the family living paycheck to paycheck.
“I am really proud of Amanda for wanting to make a difference and for the fact that this project will teach her responsibility and a lesson about costs,” Johnston said. “It is not always easy fulfilling your child’s wish list being a single mother.”
With her fundraising goal exceeded, Amanda has decided to adopt the mother and grandmother of the two children she is sponsoring and possibly assist other families.
Amanda and her mother spent Thanksgiving Day delivering turkey dinners to less-fortunate Pasco families.
Johnston said Amanda is already a good person who understands when her mother can’t give her money to do everything she wants.
“I tell her all the time: ‘You have a roof over your head and a place to sleep and there are a lot of kids out there who don’t have that,’ ” Johnston said.