CHIPLEY - Sam Hagan, Director of local ministry and charity "Love in Action" wasn't quite prepared for the response he got after speaking about the organization to the 10 and 11 year old Vacation Bible School class at First Baptist Church in Chipley.
"You never know with kids how they will react or the depth with which they understand," said Hagan. "I explained to the children that there were children and families who aren't as fortunate as others, and that helping them doesn't always mean giving money, that we can give items we no longer want or need to make a difference."
But 11 year old Keegan Welch, a rising sixth grader at Roulhac Middle School, not only understood; she decided to take action.
Welch became determined to help her community. She stopped by to see Hagan at his office shortly after his VBS visit, surprising him with a box containing dolls, clothing, and $15 of her own allowance.
"I was blown away," said Hagan. "I was moved by the impact this one little girl made all by herself."
But Keegan wasn't finished with her mission.
"Not everyone has a nice house or a mom and dad who loves them like I do," said Welch. "I felt like I could do something more to help."
She asked her parents, Chris and Wendy Welch of Chipley, if she could have a lemonade stand to raise money for the organization.
"Mr. Hagan told us how hard it is sometimes to keep Love in Action running, and my sister, Karley, and I had a lemonade stand to raise more money," said Welch. "We made signs and set up at my aunt's house across from the (Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center), and we sold lemonade and cookies."
Welch was soon back in Hagan's office to present him with a $163 donation.
"It brought tears to my eyes," said Hagan. "She challenges us adults to do what God wants us to do. For an 11 year old child to do something like this, what more can we do for others as adults?"
"It inspires me to no end that our children are still doing and teaching us adults what we should be doing , and it says a lot about their parents."
Hagan says the organization will take the money and add it to funds which help pay electrical, water, and medical bills for local families in need.
The organization will also be providing two school outfits per qualifying child, as long as supplies last, during office hours for the first two weeks in August.
Love in Action is located at 1359 Watts Ave.in Chipley and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.