2nd-grader works to raise library money

Happy birthday today to Andrew Jiang. He's the little boy I wrote about last summer who earned more than $100 selling cold drinks and his old toys at his family's yard sale and donated all his profits to the Mount Pleasant Library.

Andrew has been at it again. Earlier this year, he and his mother, Nancy, took a donation of $500 to the library.

That's quite a sum for a rising second-grader. I was curious to know how Andrew had raised so much money.

Andrew's parents own the China Garden Restaurant on U.S. 601 in south Concord. Andrew loves to go to the restaurant and help out, so his parents started rewarding him with a quarter every time he did a good job cleaning a table or carrying a tray. Likewise, customers tipped him.

He saved all the tips and quarters for the library.

The newspaper story about Andrew's donation last year hung in the restaurant. His mother, Nancy, said what Andrew did inspires family, friends and people who come in, and they, too, make donations to the library.

Andrew and his younger sister, Amber, love the library. They enjoy the nice people who work there and the children's programs. They especially like to get a stamp on their hands on every visit.

Nancy was concerned when she heard about the library's budget woes. So when it came time for Andrew to drop off his hard-earned money, she floated him a loan to reach the $500 mark. Now the money Andrew earns goes to pay his mother back.

Nancy Jiang said she wants her children to know the importance of saving and using their money to help others, rather than spending it on things. She's proud that Andrew has set an example.

The Jiang family participated in their neighborhood yard sale again this year, and Andrew donated another $70.13 in proceeds to the library. Library manager Kate Moore said Andrew's gifts will go to the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library to support special children's programs this winter.

Dignity sacrificed for cause

Some eastern Cabarrus men sacrificed a little of their dignity recently to raise money for the Mount Pleasant Food Ministry.

As part of the Independence Day Celebration, eight men dressed as women and competed for the title of Mr. Mount Pleasant. Instead of bathing suit and talent competitions, they solicited donations. The contestant who filled his purse with the most money was the winner.

Congratulations to Wilson McAllister, who won the title, and thanks to Scott Barringer, Vic Shandor, Paul Topper, Kent Lowder, Bob Merrill, Mike Billings and Gary Wayne Cooper Jr., who together raised $1,357.70 for a worthy cause.