Lucy Collins

The Link of Cullman County Director of Community Relations Melissa Betts, from left, East Elementary fourth-grader Lucy Collins and The Link Director of Neighbor Relations Julie Hall stand with Lucy's $1,000 donation to The Link.

The Link of Cullman County received a financial boost on Thursday from a local fourth-grader.

East Elementary student Lucy Collins presented The Link with a check for $1,000 after spending the last few months making and selling lanyards that people can use to keep their face masks close when they aren't wearing them.

Lucy said she and her mother saw some of the lanyards for sale earlier this year, and they decided Lucy could make and sell her own. After a post on Facebook offering them for sale, the orders started coming in, and she was joined by her mother, brother, grandmother and other family and friends to make the lanyards to meet the high demand.

After selling around 200 lanyards, she had collected $1,000 and wanted to donate the money to a local charity.

"I didn't need this all for myself," she said.

Lucy said she and some of her family and friends volunteered at The Link this summer to help distribute free meals, and she decided to donate the money to support the organization and the work it does for local children.

"God just helped push me, and that has helped me a lot," she said. "I'm really happy to make this much money."

The Link Director of Community Relations Melissa Betts said she and some of The Link's staff members sat down with Lucy to discuss some of the options that the money could go to, and Lucy wanted the money to go towards new toys and games for the organization's supervised parental visits.

Many of the parental visits are on a weekly basis, and over time, some of the toys may break or lose pieces, or the children may just need some new things to keep them occupied, Betts said.

"They're here for several hours, and they are all different ages, so it's always hard to keep kids interested in the same things that they see every week," she said.

Betts said The Link has also opened an outdoor area for children and parents to have their supervised visits to have some room to spread out without having to wear a mask, so Lucy's donation will help pay for some toys and games for that area as well.

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 238.

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