Pickerington youngster tackles task of helping feed those in need

Pandemic Postcards

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – Fairfield Elementary School in Pickerington has been remote this year, but it hasn’t stopped students from engaging.

Third grade teacher Jamie Carroll played Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech last month for her class and asked, “What it your dream?”

Eli Jackson, 9, said his assignment might take some work, but he dropped the first stone in the pond this weekend.

“Be happy,” Eli replies to his mother’s question about what she should write on the lunch bag she’s decorating.

“Be happy, OK!” Sarah Jackson agreed.

Just be happy. A simple yet complicated dream for most of us.

“Eli is one cool guy,” Carroll, Eli’s teacher, said.

At 9 years old, Eli’s all about planting seeds.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” Sarah said. “And I think the seeds of kindness you alluded to have been growing in Eli for a while now.”

Eli heard King’s speech that day in class.

“Little black boys and little black girls will join hands with little white boys and little white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today,” King exclaimed that August day in 1963.

And Eli heard his message

“People who have black skin and people who have white skin should be able to put hands in hands and be friends,” Eli said as he sat on his mother’s lap.

And his dream is to feed them. This past Saturday, he made 20 lunches, and on Sunday, he delivered those meals to Seeds of Caring.

“I thought about packing lunches first,” Eli shared. “And then I thought about donating money.”

His dream is to make and donate 100 meals in 2021. And he’s adding his own bread.

“So last year, my parents decided to give more to the grandkids to donate money to something that was important to them,” Sarah recalls.

Forty-five dollars from Christmas, and another $22 he saved from his allowance.

“In these times of difficulty, it teaches kids that maybe they can see somebody else’s point of view,” Carroll said. “Who is also having difficulty and it makes empathy transferable.”

Kickstarting a Seeds of Caring program to get younger kids involved in community service.

“It will just get bigger and bigger,” Eli hopes.

“Kind of dropping a stone in the pond aren’t you?”

Eli nodded.

A ripple effect, one lunch bag at a time.

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