Each month, Central Penn Parent features a child who is doing great things. They pitch in to make a difference in their schools, places of worship and throughout their communities. They are a blessing to those around them—yet their efforts often go unrecognized. We want to thank them for a job well done! Each child receives a cape and a prize package from our sponsors.
At first glance, Megan Miller—wearing an orange T-shirt, bright pink and turquoise sneakers and sporting bold multi-colored braces on her teeth—appears to be a typical 10-year-old. But a short conversation with the fifth-grader reveals she wants to boldly color the world with hope, and she’s doing her part to help children halfway around the globe.
Megan, the daughter of Ron and Michelle Miller of Lebanon, is a fifth-grader at South Lebanon Elementary, and has been involved with the American Foundation for Children with AIDS for more than three years.
“When I was 7, I was doing an art show and looking for a benefit,” Megan explained, describing her participation in a student art event at Mt. Gretna where she hoped to donate the proceeds to a worthy cause.
Megan was friends with two children whose mother is the executive director of the American Foundation for Children with AIDS based in Harrisburg, and she decided to help the group.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and that offered me a very good chance — especially in a big continent like Africa,” Megan said.
She then joined her interest in arts and crafts with AFCA and began making bracelets, selling them for $5 each and donating the proceeds to AFCA. She has also donated her birthday money to the organization.
“Megan has been a huge supporter of the children with whom we work by raising funds for them through the making and sales of bracelets,” explained Tanya Weaver, executive director of the AFCA. “Also, for two consecutive years, Megan helped coordinate and host an art show with all the proceeds donated to our work.”
Megan has raised more than $1,000 through her efforts. The money has helped feed HIV-positive children in Africa, buy them medicine and purchase livestock for them to raise so they may become self-sufficient. “It helps kids who have AIDS to get them medicine and all the stuff they need to be taken care of,” Megan said.
When she isn’t beading and crafting, Megan enjoys swimming and dancing and playing with her dog—a pug-Bichon Frisé mix. “She’s white and fluffy and gluten-free,” Megan said with a grin, of her four-legged companion with a wheat allergy.
Megan continues to sell bracelets, with a goal of raising $1,500. She said it takes her about 3 to 5 minutes to make each bracelet, depending on how big the beads are, and she fits bracelet-making into her schedule whenever possible.
“We are so proud of Megan and we are incredibly grateful,” Weaver said. “She’s a little mover and a shaker.”
Andrea Ciccocioppo is editor of Central Penn Parent.