A little girl with a big heart is ensuring none of her classmates will ever go hungry by collecting jars of her favorite food combination, peanut butter and jelly.
Eva Chapman has donated 1,033 pieces of PB&J to nine schools including her own. Strangers as far as Canada have donated jars to the 6-year-old’s cause.
“It’s just been such a wonderful outpouring of support,” mom Nicole Chapman of Florida told “Good Morning America.” “For whatever reason, this really just touched people and moved them. I’m very proud of her. She has a huge heart.”
PHOTO: Eva Chapman, a student at Volusia County School District, began collecting jars of peanut butter and jelly after hearing a classmate didn’t have enough to eat at home. (Volusia County School District)
Eva, a soon-to-be first grader at Spruce Creek Elementary School in Port Orange, launched her project in mid-April. Eva told her mom she wanted to have a food drive after learning a fellow classmate might not have enough to eat at home.
“She got fixated on [another child] she went to school with,” Chapman said. “It became apparent to me that [the child] didn’t have a great home life. My advice to her was, ‘Go ahead and love from afar because they don’t have everything you have.”
PHOTO: Eva Chapman, a Florida student entering first grade, has collected over 1,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly for her fellow classmates. (Nicole Chapman )
Chapman said her daughter’s school offers free and reduced hot lunch to students whose families struggle financially. Eva knows this, but wondered what those kids have to eat when they’re at home.
So with the help of her mom, Eva launched a kid-friendly food drive where in true 6-year-old fashion, she aimed to gather a whopping 10 million jars of PB&J.
PHOTO: Eva Chapman, a Florida student entering first grade, has collected over 1,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly, and had 200 jars left over for her school’s food pantry. (Nicole Chapman)
While she hasn’t reached her overly ambitious goal, mom said Eva is thrilled with the outcome.
“We are getting more and more peanut butter and jelly so we could have some for the children that have hot lunch and so they could have peanut butter and jelly for the summer,” Eva said in a video interview with Volusia County Schools.
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PHOTO: Eva Chapman, 6, is ensuring none of her classmates will ever go hungry by collecting peanut butter and jelly jars. (Nicole Chapman )
Eva’s PB&J campaign has been featured on local news and in turn, inspired spin-off projects in nearby schools.
“Other parents, other students, other schools and even other districts I’m hearing, students are following her lead and wanting to impact other students in a positive way and make sure that no kids go hungry over the summer break,” said Spruce Creek’s principal Andrea Hall.
(CBS News) Two Florida teenagers are counting their blessings after they were rescued from a strong ocean current right before Easter weekend.
After going out for a swim, high school seniors Tyler Smith and Heather Brown were stranded at sea for more than an hour when they cried out to God for help.
Fortunately for them, their prayers were answered in the form of a boat named the “Amen.”
Smith, Brown and a group of their classmates from Christ’s Church Academy went to Vilano Beach to celebrate senior skip day on April 18.
Smith and Brown, who have known each other since they were 8 years old, told CBS News on Friday they saw an island and they decided to try swimming toward it, despite the fact that there were no lifeguards on this remote part of the beach.
Smith said they first went for a red buoy a few dozen yards away, but the distance appeared to grow larger. He then told Brown they’d aim for the direction of the St. Augustine Lighthouse because of its proximity to the coastline — but that suddenly looked harder to do, too.
“We started to realize we were getting further away from the lighthouse rather than getting closer,” Smith told CBS News. “That’s when we started to freak out.”
“This current pushed us so far we couldn’t do it,” Brown added. “At that point, we knew were in trouble.”
Desperation was settling in and exhaustion started to become a factor. They linked arms and floated together; otherwise, Brown feared, “If we kept swimming, we would have drowned.” As they floated, they prayed for help.
“When we linked arms, honestly cried out to God, ‘If you’re out there, please send something to save us,'” Smith said. Around 30 minutes later, a boat en route from South Florida to New Jersey spotted them.
“It came out of nowhere,” Brown said. “When I saw it, I knew we were getting out of here.” At that point, her first thought was, “God is real.”
The crew on the boat hauled them in and gave them blankets to warm up. Captain Eric Wagner had a surprising yet fitting revelation for the teens — the boat’s name is the “Amen.” Both teenagers were safely returned to shore.
On Thursday, they spoke to the captain via Facetime for the first time since their encounter at sea. Smith said Wagner felt “God sent him there.”
“They weren’t even supposed to there,” Smith said of the boat. “The ocean was really bad that day. The water was really choppy but he and his crew decided to wait it out.”
With graduation weeks away and college on the horizon, the teens are thanking God and Captain Wagner for their rescue.
“He obviously has a plan for us,” Brown said. “We’re not supposed to leave this earth yet.”