The Meridian Star
Special to the Star
Ariel Eaves turns nine years old at the end of the month.
Instead of presents, the third grade student at Clarkdale Elementary is asking her peers for something different: help to feed the hungry in East Mississippi. Ariel is asking people to bring food or financial donations for L.O.V.E’s (Lauderdale Outreach and Volunteer Effort) Kitchen, the organization that has been feeding people in East Mississippi since the 1980s. She’s also seeking the public’s help in raising additional funds for the local soup kitchen.
“It bothers me knowing that there are so many people here who don’t have food to eat,” Ariel said. “People die all the time from starvation and dehydration and that’s not good. I don’t need presents. My parents have told me about LOVE’s Kitchen and I think they need our help.”
Ariel’s mother, Susan Carmichael, and stepfather, Fredie Carmichael, are hosting the birthday party at the family’s home on Sunday and have asked Ariel’s classmates to bring donations and food instead of presents. They’re also seeking donations from the public to assist their daughter in raising money – and awareness – for the mission of LOVE’s Kitchen, which is to feed those in need.
Inflatable Kingdom, owned and operated by Meridian native and family friend Brian Sparrow, will be sponsoring the birthday fundraiser. They’re providing an obstacle course, bouncers and popcorn for the kids.
“We’re proud that Ariel showed the compassion and then the initiative to do something like this,” said Dr. Susan Carmichael. “We want to do everything we can to get the word out and help her raise additional money for her cause. As her parents, we were moved by what she had decided to do from the moment she first mentioned it. It has motivated us to do more as well.”
Financial donations can be made to LOVE’s Kitchen by sending them to 5215 Stonebriar Drive, Meridian, 39301. Make checks payable to LOVE’S Kitchen. You can also send donations directly to the kitchen at 801 18th Ave., Meridian, MS 39301. You can call them at 601-693-1409. Food contributions are also welcomed and can be dropped off at 801 18th Ave. The best time to donate is Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., but donations will be accepted at any time between 6:30 a.m. through 1 p.m. at the convenience of the donor.
“LOVE’s Kitchen serves the homeless and hungry with dignity and honor as Christ did,” said Tom Sikes, parson of First Christian Church and board member of LOVE’s Kitchen. “Imagine being homeless and hungry. Your gifts feed the needy. We thank the community for their continued support of these efforts.”
For more information about Inflatable Kingdom, visit their website at www.inflatablekingdom.com. For more information about ways you can help Ariel’s cause, call 601-938-0087.