9 year old sells designs to raise money for family friend | Local News


A fourth-grade student from Maitland, Missouri, began a ripple effect of selflessness.

Nine-year-old Ellissa Brown draws pictures and sells them to raise funds for Larry Hansen, 62, or as Ellissa knows him, Uncle Larry. Hansen was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer earlier this year and Ellissa wanted to help him financially.

One night, Ellissa’s grandmother, Lisa Tittsworth, was video chatting with one of Hansen’s family members about her illness. What Tittsworth didn’t know was that his granddaughter was listening to the conversation.

“I walk over and sit in my recliner and there was a little notepad on the table next to me,” Tittsworth said. “That said, ‘Money for Larry.’ This photo 50 cents, front and back 25 cents, and that’s kind of what started it all.

Ellissa’s goal was to raise $ 300 by selling her individual designs for pennies each. But when she began to doubt her goal, her aunt turned to social media. Ruby Brown posted her niece’s fundraiser on her Facebook page, and it took off. In less than a week, Ellissa has raised $ 340 and still has more orders pending.

“We’ve had people like, ‘Oh, I’m going to take $ 25 for a detailed photo’ or this or that, and it just kept piling up,” said Ruby Brown.

Some people ask Ellissa for certain drawings, and others let her draw whatever she wants. Her favorite things to draw are the zodiac signs, but she also draws a lot of animals. One of her favorites is a dragon eye that she invented on her own. Someone sent him a picture of his dog, which Ellissa recreated.

One day Ellissa even begged her mom, Lacey Brown, to let her stay home from school just because she had so many pictures to draw. Her mother still made her go to school that day, but said she spent a lot of her free time drawing pictures at the moment.

After Ellissa shared her fundraising idea, the rest of her family followed suit. They have started a Go Fund Me page on behalf of Hansen who has currently raised over $ 500, and they are making gift baskets and auctioning off item donations. Ellissa’s mother and aunt laughed at the way their fourth-grader started fundraising.

“The 9-year-old has started,” Lacey Brown said. “So we’re just going to follow the example of the 9-year-old this time around. “

“… It’s kind of a chain reaction,” said Ruby Brown.

Unlike Ellissa’s goal of $ 300, her family members don’t have a specific amount to raise. They said Hansen is a paycheck type person, and they are raising money to help pay for the treatments he has already received and all the other expenses he currently needs, such as a nurse, from there. oxygen or just bills that might need to be paid.

“The least we can do for him is to make sure that any time he has left is well spent without worry,” Tittsworth said. “Don’t worry about hospital bills, don’t worry about your household bills, because they’re going to be paid. I think that’s our goal.

Tittsworth first met Hansen 33 years ago and said he has been part of his family’s life ever since. Although he’s only a friend, he feels more like family to the Browns, having been there for Lacey and Ruby Brown’s entire life, as well as Ellissa’s nine years. Tittsworth has said he’s someone they can always count on.

“No matter what, no matter how far away we were, if these kids had a birthday party, if it was Easter, or whatever, he was there. He would drive, no matter where he was, he was there,” he said. declared Tittsworth.

Hansen was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in July and spent just over a month at Truman Medical Center, before spending a few days at Mosaic Life Care. Tittsworth has said the cancer has metastasized throughout his body and has since been sent home, and doctors say he is running out of time.

The family tried to see Hansen as often as possible, and Ruby Brown said they recently deposited money they and Ellissa collected.

“He’s a private person but he never wants help. So I think it’s a bit difficult for him, ”said Ruby Brown. “We took today and gave him what we’ve collected so far, and he kind of had that little smile on his face.”

Ellissa is happy to help and draw pictures for people, but she was not sure how to explain what she was feeling.

“I don’t know, it’s like all the emotions are mixed up,” Ellissa said.

She said she hopes to inspire others to be good people. Her family said they were moved to tears by the heart of her servant, and she hopes this story will encourage others to help too.

“If a 9-year-old can help, there are plenty more who can join the donation,” said Ruby Brown. “Everything goes a long way.”

Lacey Brown hopes other children will see her daughter’s selflessness.

“I hope that when other children see her story, what she is trying to do, for her age and what grade she is in, I really hope other children will want to do similar things … I hope that it will bring back some cuteness in the world, ”said Lacey Brown.

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