When 13 year old Amanda Grace visited the hardware store’s paint department with her grandfather 2 years ago, she saw the wall of paint swatches as more than just a way to pick paint colors for your home. The now 7th grader from Branchburg Central Middle School had a vision – a way to let her creativity shine and give back to the community at the same time – she called it “Colors for a Cause.”
Using the colorful paint swatches, Amanda creates one-of-a kind book marks, notepads, gift tags, greeting cards and holiday ornaments. She spends her summer working alongside her grandmother/“assistant” to make the paper creations that she later sells at craft fairs to benefit Midland. In 2016, she donated $144 from her efforts. This year, she more than doubled that contribution to $290!
Amanda says special education has a special place in her heart because her cousin is on the autism spectrum. Amanda attended basketball camp at Midland and was familiar with the students who job train in her school’s cafeteria. In March of 2016, she attended Move for Midland – a community-wide fundraising event as a volunteer in charge of the dance floor. Amanda, who still keeps in touch with friends she made at the event, says she feels a connection to Midland and the students.
On Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), Amanda and her grandmother came to Midland to personally present the check to Midland’s President and CEO, Shawn McInerney. “We are deeply touched that Amanda put so much time, effort and creativity into making a difference at Midland again this year,” says McInerney. “She is a young leader in the community and should be very proud of her accomplishments. We are so grateful for her kindness!”