Local girl conducts food drive for birthday


Aayla Spurrier’s giving spirit started at a young age and is still going strong.

Along with receiving art supplies, toys and clothes for her 10th birthday this year, Aayla wanted to experience the feeling of giving.

She and her parents, Chianne Carson and Troy Bush, read a Tribune story about Charles and Phyllis Seybold taking over as co-directors of Community Provisions of Jackson County in August. The story said the three most-needed items for the food pantry were peanut butter, crackers and macaroni and cheese.

Aayla had done a food drive for Community Provisions through her involvement with Girl Scout Troop 135 a couple of years ago, and her mom asked Troop Leader Chealsy Parr about doing it again this year.

“They hadn’t really talked about it because we’ve been so busy with so many other things, so then she wanted to take it into her own hands and go start something,” Carson said of her daughter.

Carson posted about Aayla’s food drive on Facebook, and three weeks later, they had collected $100 in donations and 327 pounds of food for Community Provisions.

“We put it out to family and friends first off, and then we have family in Florida, and I went ahead and put it on Facebook,” Carson said. “Then everybody started, ‘We can bring some stuff over,’ so it turned into what was going to be just this little thing into this really big thing.”

Aayla said it exceeded her expectations.

“It made me feel happy,” she said, smiling.

She said she decided to do the food drive so she could help people who don’t have food. She realized some people can’t afford or don’t have access to food they need.

“It makes me feel sad,” she said.

She took the matter into her own hands, and when the items were delivered to Community Provisions, the Seybolds were grateful.

“They were pretty blown away. They were blown away with her. They were super appreciative,” Carson said.

“She actually got to tour Provisions, and I think she learned some things because they talked about how some of the food that they have to put in there has to be made for people that live in their car because some people are not going to have access to be able to heat anything or cook anything, and they have to change the bags out for people that are living in a vehicle or without a microwave,” she said.

“So many people don’t have that much food,” Aayla said. “Some people need more stuff than we do.”

With her efforts, those who visit Community Provisions will get what they need.

“It made me feel good,” she said.

“I’m beyond proud of her,” Carson said. “She has the biggest heart. She’s always thinking of others. She’s the biggest nurturer.”

Carson said that started when Aayla was 3.

“There was a lady at McDonald’s and she was sitting on the ground, and (Aayla) was like, ‘Why is she sitting there?’ and I was like, ‘Well, I don’t think she has a home,’ and she was like, ‘Well, I can build her a home,’” Carson said. “It has always been, ‘What can I do to help?’”

Aayla has taken her mother’s daily message of “Help someone if you can” to heart.

“We’ve always tried to teach her to pay it forward. Even if you don’t have a lot, you can give a little,” Carson said. “She loves when we pay for somebody behind us at McDonald’s. It has always been one of her favorite things whenever we’re out.”

Bush said he’s proud of his daughter, too.

“She won’t do anything if she thinks it will hurt somebody’s feelings. She’s got a heart of gold,” he said. “You just don’t see that anymore, especially as a 10-year-old.”

Since Aayla has been a giver most of her life, her parents expect that to continue.

“Every time she talks about what she’s going to do when she gets older, it’s always something helping other people,” Bush said.

“I look forward to seeing what she can accomplish,” Carson said.

No posts to display