In the Community Poster Child
Local girl’s funding drive to support Honduran shelter
Kristina Podlasek is showing maturity well beyond her short time on earth. The 10-year-old whose parents own the popular Island Cow restaurant in Sanibel is pledging to raise $8,000 for neglected kids in a Caribbean island shelter. The Greenfield Children’s Home helps abused and abandoned children in Roatan, a Honduran island off the Central America coast. It is a popular diving and ecotourism destination, which is how Kristina became acquainted with the Greenfield Home, her mother Elke says. Kristina in July “saw children living in the streets [of Roatan], and wanted to do something to help,” Elke Podlasek says. “She understands that she’s not going to change the world, but she wants to give back. And she can do it. She is very driven.”
Kristina is a student at the Canterbury School and an active girl who had sold pallets of scouting cookies. She also observed her mother raise some $60,000 to benefit Haiti in 2010. So it seemed natural on a family adventure in Roatan to step up after witnessing kids with very little, certainly not the life most Americans enjoy. Kristina has begun her funding quest forfeiting a monthly allowance [$40], designing a poster announcing her efforts, and preparing a donation campaign at the Island Cow and other spots. She will use proceeds to fund a year’s worth of food, education and overhead for two Greenfield lodgers, says Don Shire, chair of the Sandy Bay Lighthouse Ministries, the non-denominational American agency administering the Roatan facility. “The good Lord always seems to know what our kids need,” Shire says of random acts of kindness like Kristina’s. The shelter receives zero government support, he says. “It’s always a struggle to survive.”
For her role, Kristina is excited to help. “I already have ideas for a poster,” she says.
THE 10-YEAR-OLD WHOSE PARENTS OWN THE POPULAR ISLAND COW RESTAURANT IN SANIBEL IS PLEDGING TO RAISE $8,000 FOR NEGLECTED KIDS IN A CARIBBEAN ISLAND SHELTER.
Kristina Podlasek’s (left) allowance and donations will help purchase classroom supplies.