The 6-Year-Old Feeding Her Neighbors Impacted by the Coronavirus in Evanston

May 27, 2020

The food pantry at The Salvation Army Evanston Corps Community Center recently received a generous donation from a local start-up business owner who brought in a check for 100% of her proceeds.

Even more impressive? That business owner is 6.

“Ryerson learned how to make rubber band bracelets a few months ago and she thought starting a ‘business’ to raise money to help others during COVID would be a good thing to do,” explained her father, Thackston Lundy. He and his wife, Christy, suggested their young entrepreneur consider donating the money to a local organization providing food to those in need during the pandemic. “The Evanston food pantry was an obvious choice!” he said.

So, on May 18, Thackston and Ryerson visited the food pantry at the Evanston Salvation Army, where Captain Mary Kim and Emergency Assistance Coordinator Fethiya Idris-Said gave the two a tour; learned about Ryerson’s business, Grace’s Bracelets (Grace is Ryerson’s middle name); and gratefully accepted her $1,550 donation.

"We are so grateful to Ryerson and her family for this wonderful gift to The Salvation Army Evanston Corps Food Pantry. It will go a long way in helping the most vulnerable right here in our community,” said Captain Kim.

“This is Ryerson’s first start up,” Thackston said with a smile. “But she’s excited to keep it going. She made more than 90 bracelets and raised money from both generous Evanston residents and family and friends around the U.S.”

Thackston reached out to Captain Mary to see if he and his daughter could make her donation in person, so she could learn what a food bank is, see how people in their neighborhood will benefit from her donation, and meet someone dedicated to serving others every day. “We are grateful to the team for making this a great learning opportunity for Ryerson,” he said.

Captain Kim was grateful as well, saying, “Ryerson and many others who supported this fundraiser are proof that even in the midst of a historic pandemic, there is still good in our world and the mandate to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ continues on through the caring and thoughtful generosity of people like Ryerson."

Learn about all the ways The Salvation Army is responding to the coronavirus – as well as how you can help – at

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Donate to Our COVID-19 Response      Fundraise for Good

For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.

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