Surrounded by stuffed animals, 8-year-old Sara Beth Johnson settled on the sofa. At the opposite end sat 5-year-old Brendan, dwarfed by a teddy bear.
With the ease of an adult, Sara Beth discussed her project to provide toys for Levine Children's Hospital.
"I was thinking that maybe I should give back this year," she said.
On April 5, the brother and sister delivered arts and crafts, puzzles, games, activity books, baby blankets, crayons and markers to the hospital.
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They also gave books, sports team hats and photo albums for parents, who need to fill their time when they're sitting at the hospital for hours. Sara Beth thought moms and dads might like a visual record as a reminder of their children's progress in overcoming an illness.
Sara Beth said her baby sister, Meredith, had visited the hospital when she had a tummy ache and needed an endoscopy. The second-grader wanted to provide fun activities for sick children.
In November she told friends and family of her plan. Following a family tradition, she asked for "give-aways" as birthday gifts. Her dream to help kids was taking shape.
One morning the enterprising youngster looked out upon the fairway at Mallard Head Golf Course and had an idea. With her brother's help, she organized a fundraiser, selling lemonade, M&Ms and golf balls collected from the back yard.
Running around the golf course, the youngsters yelled, "We're selling lemonade for Levine. How many cups would you like to buy?" They raised $49.
Encouraged by their success, Sara Beth wrote a list for Santa. She requested an American Girl doll and gifts for the Levine Children's Hospital. On Christmas morning, her wish had been fulfilled. She received a basket of toys for sick children.
By spring break, the brother and sister had purchased items with the proceeds from their "Lemonade for Levine" fundraiser. Although they could not visit patients, they met Carrie Keuten in the Child Life Department, who delivered the gifts.
Sara Beth is thinking about her next project. She plans to raise money for a charitable organization and add more helpers. She'll recruit a friend who has collected four buckets of golf balls and will be an asset to the team.
Her parents are proud of her. She's been involved in charitable activities at church, but this is the first time she's undertaken a project. "It was her idea," her dad said.
Meeting Street Farmers Market at Morrison Plantation has returned. Look for your favorite vendors 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Farmers and artists are in the parking lot beside Bruster's Ice Cream.
The market has fresh produce grown by local farmers: Lettuce, onions, fennel, cauliflower, Japanese turnips and strawberries are in season.
Theme nights highlight specific fruits and vegetables. Tuesday is salad/spring vegetables night. Salad dressing samples for early lettuces will be available; farmers will discuss ways to prepare spring onions and cabbages. Pick up recipes and check the schedule for other theme nights.