Fourteen-year-old girl raises over $40,000 for Salvation Army - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fourteen-year-old girl raises over $40,000 for Salvation Army

Caroline visits the Salvation Army for the first time (Source: The Wells Family) Caroline visits the Salvation Army for the first time (Source: The Wells Family)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Tyler resident Caroline Wells is being recognized as one of two Texas Top Youth Volunteers of 2018 in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The nationwide program honors students in grades 5-12 for outstanding acts of volunteerism. 

It all began in the third grade when Caroline went on a school field trip to the Salvation Army.

"I got to see everything, every inch of the place and it just really touched my heart," Wells said. "I decided I wanted to help and I started doing little things like lemonade stands and food drives and all that stuff, and the first time, I raised about forty dollars."

At an early age Caroline was impacted by the people who call the Salvation Army home. Since then she's raised more than $40,000 doing volunteer projects like ringing bells during the holidays, organizing toy drives, and gathering school supply donations. 

"I just love the feeling of knowing I'm helping someone and that I can help other people learn that there is a need for simple things," she said. "There is a need for people to help and so if I'm able to get that little eight-year-old girl like me to join and help the Salvation Army, then that would just mean the world to me."

Organizations across the nation are noticing her efforts, including The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The national program named her one of two state honorees to be recognized in Washington, D.C. for outstanding volunteer service. Those close to Caroline said she is more than deserving of the award.

"She's just such a mature young lady and she has a big heart for all these different thing she does, so I'm super proud of her and will follow her for years to come," Caroline's teacher Jane Adams said. 

It's been five years since her first trip to the Salvation Army, and Caroline said she plans to give back to the organization for years to come.

"I know that if I give a dollar then pretty much all of it is going to help a family or feed a person for a couple of days," she said. "I can trust this organization; I can trust that these people are going to do the right thing."

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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