When Molly Green was 3 years old, she begged her mom to donate to a Humane Society collection jar by a cash register in Hilton Head.
At home in Charlotte, Molly loved watching old movies about animals and playing school, where her stuffed animals were her students.
“She had asked for a dog forever,” said Tamera Green, Molly’s mother. “The irony of it is she’s allergic to dogs.”
Molly couldn’t adopt a dog from the Humane Society of Charlotte, so she did the next best thing.
She started with sidewalk lemonade stands. Afterward, Tamera would drive Molly to the Humane Society so she could drop off the little bag of change she earned. Then, Tamera would let Molly stay and play with the dogs.
By the time she was 12, Molly wanted to do more. She was too young to volunteer with the Humane Society, so a volunteer suggested she hold a fundraiser.
On July 7, Molly, who is now 15 and a rising junior at Charlotte Latin School, raised more than $6,000 at her third annual “PAWS for the CAUSE” silent auction and hot dog dinner for the Humane Society. In total, she’s collected about $11,000 in three years.
“Tonight was so much fun, so many people came and were eager to be a part of helping the animals and generously contributing to my event,” Molly wrote in an email. “It felt so good to host an event that could be so successful!”
While PAWS for the CAUSE has greatly benefited the Humane Society, it’s also benefited Molly, who says she is “very shy.”
The first year, she wanted to hold the fundraiser at her church, Providence Presbyterian in South Charlotte. The church doesn’t allow kids to host events, but she made a presentation before the church’s board and they made an exception.
Anne Wood, a church member who’s attended all three PAWS for the CAUSE events, remembers the care Molly put into her first fundraiser, setting up little tables with activities to keep children entertained.
“Molly is unique,” Wood said. “She seems to be focused on doing good things.”
Molly asked her mom, who owns Viridian Marketing in Ballantyne, for advice on raising money. Tamera Green said many groups held silent auctions.
“She said, ‘I would like to go ask people for stuff,’ ” said Tamera Green, who was hesitant. “She’s a very shy child.”
They drove to area businesses. Their first stop was Cinebarre in the Arboretum, where the manager gave Molly movie tickets – and a confidence boost.
“I think it just lifted her spirits,” Tamera Green said.
Molly asked her dad, former Charlotte Observer sports reporter Ron Green Jr., who now writes for Global Golf Post, if he would use his connections to get sports items donated.
She invited her friends, her parents’ friends, her neighbors and church community to the fundraiser. Adults paid $10 for the hot dog dinner, which was prepared with food that Molly’s uncle donated.
When it was over, she took a bag with about $1,500 in cash to the Humane Society.
“I think they were expecting (proceeds from) a lemonade stand, which I had done many, many times,” Molly said. “I told them it was over $1,000, and they were so surprised.”
This year’s fundraiser moved to Cedarwood Country Club, where the Greens are members. The club typically doesn’t allow fundraisers, so Molly met with its board and gave a PowerPoint presentation about her event.
Her silent auction had more items this year, including a framed and signed Steve Smith Carolina Panthers jersey and tickets to the Wells Fargo Championship.
The auction also featured Molly’s new logo for her fundraiser, which she designed herself.
While Molly now has a dog – a hypoallergenic Bichon Frise – she plans to continue raising money for the Humane Society.
“She has a good heart,” Tamera Green said.
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.