Pooler children hold Smiles for Kids charity event for kids in need
When the group of elementary-age children that Melissa Carter babysits during the summer approached ...
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pooler children hold Smiles for Kids charity event for kids in need
Pooler children hold Smiles for Kids charity event for kids in
When the group of elementary-age children that Melissa Carter babysits during the summer
approached her with a question, she thought she knew what to expect.
"I said, 'Do you guys want to go to the park and ride go-karts?'" she said. "And they said, 'No, ma'am.
We want to take care of the needy kids.'"
Out of this simple statement grew a plan that culminated in a charity event dubbed "Smiles for Kids"
at Pooler Recreation Park on Friday. In the sticky haze of a humid morning, the children, Carter and
a few parents and friends prepared to welcome children gathered by the United Way, the Red Cross
and the Salvation Army.
"It's really wonderful that the kids came together at this age to do something like this," Carter said.
Carter's group ranges in age from 6 to 11, and she said most of them are from West Chatham
Elementary, with the exception of one who goes to Bloomingdale Elementary. Each child had
scoured his or her house for unwanted toys or outgrown clothing that could be donated.
"I'm glad (to be donating items) because we're helping other people," said 6-year-old Arabella Cox.
She donated toys she doesn't use any more and some juice boxes.
Carter's 6-year-old nephew Rylan said he felt good about donating some of his Transformers and toy
"Now I can clean my room a lot better," he said.
A picnic table reserved for the donated goods was crowded with boxes of clothing, toys and books.
"It's important to do this so (the kids) can stay alive and have a happy life," 9-year-old Dawson
Griggs said. Executive producer John Vignocchi opened an advanced Adults of the Galaxy screening
earlier this week-by announcing that the film'sprimary figures will be making their way into Disney
Infinity'sapproaching Marvel Super-Heroes 2.0 version. Like the Spiderman set revealedat this
year's E3, five Guardians of the Universe character figuresmay be available to be used in the open-
ended Toy-Boxstyle of the game and also in a distinctiveamount playset.
The playset will comprise figurines for Star Lord and Gamora, andwill hit store shelves alongside
Infinity's 2.0 start this fall.One other three figures will be available individually. Drax, anup close
melee combatant, Rocket Raccoon, a dual-wielding pistoleer, and Groot, a "Dhalsim-like" personality
who stretches his limbs for medium-range assaults, mayall cost additional. Studio Gobo, who worked
for Disney Infinityiteration on Pirates of the Carribean, created the Guardians of the Galaxy
playset.He donated toy cars, among other things.
"One day, you might need help," said 15-year-old Stevie Ray Bozeman, a neighbor who had donated
juice and popsicles for the event.
"And they'll be there to help you," added 11-year-old Cameron Griggs.
Carter approached local businesses with flyer in hand, and nearly all of them were eager to help out
in one way or another, donating pizza, sandwiches, cookies, cupcakes and other goodies. But she
maintained the children were the masterminds behind the whole operation.
"My mother and I just made the calls," Carter said. "These kids made this happen."
In addition to the food, toy and clothing donations, Smiles for Kids also planned a day of fun and
games for the children.
Lieutenant Fort and a few other firefighters from the Pooler Fire Department brought a fire engine
to the park and had come prepared with kid-size gear and handouts to teach the children about fire
"It's always good when kids want to know about the fire service," he said. "Maybe they'll become
junior firefighters someday."
The Girl Scouts also volunteered to help. Casey Gainey of the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia brought
a plastic bin filled with games as part of the GirlSports initiative aimed at getting kids more active.
"We want people to know that the Girl Scouts are out here and willing to help," she said. "We
definitely want to be part of the community."
Unfortunately, Carter's Facts expectant group was met with disappointment when children failed to
show up to the park for the event.
"The kids are a little upset and a little depressed about it," Carter said. "But they know it's not the
Despite Link: the disappointment, Carter said everything "turned out for the best." She gave the
food to the firefighters, the Girl Scout staffers, local nursing homes and the YMCA. And her kids will
take their clothing and toy donations to the Salvation Army so they can still have the experience of
"We did donate to a lot of good places that help people, so that's enough for me," she added.
Carter said she often talks to the kids about how they should be thankful for what they have when
children in other parts of the world have so little.
"That's when they came up with this idea," she said. "They said, 'We want to give them toys. We
want to give them clothes. We want to put smiles on their faces and put life back into their hearts.'"