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Caped Crusader

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.

York Haven girl uses birthday to give back

Nine-year-old CeCe Clouser had a laundry list of items she wanted for her birthday—but she wasn’t asking for things for herself. Instead, she wanted clothes for friends in her school who needed them to keep warm this winter.

“I already have a lot of the things that other people don’t have,” said CeCe, 9, of York Haven. “I wanted to use my birthday to give back to other people.”

The idea came weeks before her birthday when CeCe’s mother, Elizabeth, began asking what she wanted. Stumped to come up with anything for herself, it was then that CeCe offered the idea of gathering gifts for others.

CeCe first came up with the idea of collecting food for less-fortunate families, but Elizabeth thought it could be difficult for family members far away to participate. Instead, she recommended they ask for winter clothing.

“From there, we put the word out that this is what she was asking for her birthday,” Elizabeth said. “People were great. We were able to get donations from different people around the nation.”

Elizabeth and Matthew, CeCe’s father, reached out to everyone they knew to help her cause. Aunts and uncles, grandparents and relatives from all over chipped in, even recruiting some of their friends to help out.

The cause worked. People sent in anything someone would need for winter, including hats, gloves, scarves and coats. The collection turned out to be too much to count, but as CeCe put it, “It filled grandma’s spare bedroom.”

The donations were first made to CeCe’s school, York Haven Elementary. “We wanted to make sure we helped out those kids in my school that needed it first,” CeCe said. “Once we took care of everyone there, then we could go other places.”

When Raymond March, principal of York Haven, first got word of CeCe’s plan, he couldn’t help but get excited. “I thought to myself this is wonderful,” March said. “She is giving up things for herself to provide for others. She is so young to have that mindset and care in her.”

Throughout the winter, everything CeCe raised went out to families in need. She said it’s really special when she’s able to see other kids in school wearing the items that she was able to donate.

CeCe—who is currently in the middle of softball season, where she plays catcher—hopes to continue aiding others in the future. With two dogs and three cats in the family, she wants to one day become a veterinarian.

For those who know CeCe, her continued need to give is no surprise.

“She does wonderful things for her friends and the community,” Elizabeth said. “She enjoys doing for others and is always looking for more ways to help.”

Christopher Hopkins is the assistant editor/web for Central Penn Parent.

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