By Devlin Smith
Andie Huff is an incredible little girl. Instead of just asking the big questions, six-year-old Andie is doing what she can to find the answers.
For the past year, Andie has been holding food drives, collecting various non-perishable items for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Through the three drives she’s held at her Santa Cruz, Calif., home, Andie has collected more than 1,000 pounds of food and was even honored by Second Harvest at its awards night.
“Our community has come out each time and been so supportive with canned food and money,” Andie’s mom Rachel said. “When the Second Harvest staff see Andie, they always come up to her and tell her how much they admire her. Makes a mom cry.”
It was Rachel that got Andie thinking about collecting food in the first place. “When my mom said that the people who were hungry have no food, it made me inspired,” Andie said.
“She was complaining to me after school one day that she was ‘starving,'” Rachel said. “I explained that there really were starving people in the world and we could help them. When she has her food drives, she gets so excited about all the food she has collected and how many hungry people she can help.”
When Andie holds her next drive Oct. 21 and 28, she’ll also be collecting money for the African Well Fund by putting out several penny jars. Andie decided to raise money for wells, “when I saw that a person had to go 10 miles to get water for their family and sometimes the water is not clean.”
The movie “Millions” also inspired Andie to raise money for the African Well Fund. “At the end of a movie, with the money that the boy had, he made a well for the Africans,” she said.
For this upcoming drive, Andie hopes to collect 10 barrels of food (one barrel can hold about 125 pounds of non-perishable food items) and 84,400 pennies (one mile’s worth). “It’s fun helping Africans and hungry people,” she said.
The Santa Cruz community is showing its support for Andie and her cause, including the Huff’s local grocery store. “Andie met the manager of our local grocery story yesterday who said she could sit out front with her food barrel and penny jar any time she wanted,” Rachel said.
The local media has also covered Andie’s story. “I have worked with the local newspaper to get her food drives mentioned and she loves it,” Rachel said. “She was also on the local news, which really made her year.”
Andie has advice for anyone else who would like to get involved. “I would tell them the Second Harvest number and I would give them some of my pennies and a jar and help them get started collecting pennies,” she said.
Andie is also planning to collect coats “for people that are cold” and raise money to build two wells in Africa.