In the Com­mu­nity Poster Child

Lo­cal girl’s fund­ing drive to sup­port Hon­duran shel­ter

RSWLiving - - Department­s - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT Craig Gar­rett is editor-in-chief for TOTI Me­dia.

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.

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